It was hard to get excited about a half-day of the markets already, and the poor economic data only exacerbated that feeling. Durable goods coming in "less-bad" than expected initially helped the markets, but the labor data is hard to get excited about at all.
Weekly Jobless Claims 586,000, up 30,000 and wider than expected asestimates were only 560,000. The week before was revised to 556,000 to554,000. Continuing claims are now 4.37 million.
The November income and spending data is mixed, but still leaves muchto be desired. Personal Income came in at -0.2% versus estimates of-0.1%, while Personal Spending came in at -0.6% versus -0.8% expected.
The report from November for Durable Goods was not as bad as expectedand may have been the cause for a small market pop. The report wasexpected to come in at -3.0%, but the headline number came in at-1.0%. This was actually up at +1.2% on an ex-transportation basis,but the new orders from the DEFENSE sector purchases was the majorbolstering for this report. On an ex-Defense report, the Durablesreport was -0.9%. That is nowhere near as bad as what economists wereexpecting, but we’d remind you that the monthly durable goods report isone of the most volatile numbers out there from month to month.
Jon C. Ogg
December 24, 2008