Jobless claims - Lowest reading in four years
Posted March 1, 2012
The markets opened stronger today on the back of some improved economic data, with the Dow over 13,000 in early trading, although some weaker than expected data later in the morning caused a pullback to below that threshold. Weekly jobless claims fell again this week, dropping 2,000 to 351,000.
This week’s reading is the lowest that we’ve seen in four years. My concern is whether or not this continued decline in claims is sustainable. Mortgage rates are feeling a push to the upside today, as the 10 year yield hit 2.05 in mid-day trading.
Construction spending was down 0.1 percent for January vs. being up 1.4 percent in December, and up 1.9 percent in November. Manufacturing and Consumer Spending also took a dip for February and January respectively, adding a bit of doubt to the argument that the economy is full steam ahead in its recovery.
So, while we’ve seen some economic improvements recently, it’s really a mixed bag of data right now. The Fed, while perhaps taking a slightly lighter stance on QE3 given the recent economic data, has still left that door open in case further easing is necessary.