Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jobless Claims -- Holy Mackeral -- Up 24,000; The CNBC Spin Is More Interesting Than The Government Report

CNBC is reporting [my comments in brackets]:
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but the rise probably does not suggest a shift in labor market conditions as the underlying trend continued to point to strength. [LOL]
[Quick, let's change the subject.] Separately, orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose more than expected in March and a measure of business capital spending plans surged, bolstering views of an acceleration in growth in the second quarter.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 for the week ended April 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the week ended April 12 were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported
The mainstream media has been saying this for the past two years, maybe longer: "... but the rise probably does not suggest a shift in labor market conditions as the underlying trend continued to point to strength."

Maybe not, but a jump of 24,000 is I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

Had the previous week numbers not been revised upward, today's report would have been even worse, up 25,000 -- in one week. At the beginning of the construction and road-building season. 

Analysts expected first time claims would rise to 310,000.

In fact, first time claims rose to 329,00.

That is not trivial.

Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with first-time home sales plummeting almost 15% in March. Lowest since July, 2012.

Especially at this point in the recovery. Recovery?

When one sees a jump of 24,000, it explains why Janet Yellen continues to remain dovish. Great news for the market. 

And the spin over at CNBC continues:
The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose only 4,750 to 316,750. That was not too far from pre-recession levels. A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated and there were no special factors influencing the state level data.
Jobless claims generally move up or down 5,000 to 9,000. When one sees jumps of 25,000 new claims .... call it what you want ... not good.  Especially six years into the recovery and trillions of dollars in stimulus (and more to come).

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