Early Data Not Pretty

An early morning report from the BLS revealed that Initial Jobless Claims rose by 3.84M for the week ending on April 25th. Pre-release estimates were closer to 3.5M. For the week ending April 18th, Continuing Claims rose by almost 18M, slightly lower than the 19.4M estimate.

It was also reported that in March, Personal Income dropped by a greater-than-expected 2% with Personal Spending dropping by 7.5% against an anticipated 5.1% fall. Inflation adjusted Real Personal Spending had a 7.3% fall last month against a forecast of a 6.2% slip.

For inflation in March, the headline PCE deflator fell by 0.3% bringing the year-over-year rate down to 1.3% from the prior month’s 1.8%. At the core level without food and energy, that PCE measure fell by 0.1% for the month and that left the year-over-year rate at 1.7%, down one-tenth from February.

Equity markets are poised to open slightly in the red with early Treasury prices slightly higher. The Ten-Year’s yield still hovers around 60 basis points. WTI is trading with a $17 handle with an early price gain of a little more than $2.

While these numbers and the ones to follow will certainly attract attention and analysis, we were all reminded yesterday that, for the time being, it’s all about the Fed.