Initial Claims Fall For Third Week in a Row

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending January 30th totaled 779k and that was less than the 830k that was forecast and also less than the prior week’s downwardly revised 812k. This marks the third consecutive week of falling Initial Claims. Continuing Claims for the week ending January 23rd fell to 4.59M from a slightly revised 4.79M versus an expectation of 4.7M. Earlier today, Challenger, Gray, and Christmas reported that Job Cuts year-over-year grew 17.4% last month and that was down significantly from the 134.5% year-over-year pace experienced in December. We also learned from the BLS that in Q4, Unit Labor Costs rose by a higher-than-expected 6.8% as Non-Farm Productivity plunged by a great-than-expected 4.8%. A little later, the Census Bureau will be issuing reports for December’s Factory Orders, Durable Goods Orders, and Capital Goods Orders.

For now, Treasury prices are a little softer with the Ten-Year’s yield moving up slightly to 1.15% while the Long Bond’s yield has edged up to 1.94%. The Two-Year is still anchoring the short end at around 12 basis points as the yield curve attains the steepest slope it’s had in about three years. Crude oil is up slightly to just under $60 while gold’s $21 slide takes that price to $1,812. Equity futures are slightly higher.