Initial Jobless Claims Fall to New Pandemic Low

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending May 15th totaled 444k and that was less than the 450k that was estimated and also less than the prior week’s slightly revised 478k. While this may be a new low for the pandemic era, Claims are still significantly higher than the approximately 200k that describe “normal” conditions. Continuing Claims for the week ending May 8th disconcertingly rose to 3.75M from 3.64M versus an estimated decline to 3.62M. Also out today, the Philadelphia Fed reported that its Business Outlook of General Conditions Survey Index fell significantly more than expected to a level of 31.5 this month from 50.2 against pre-release estimates of a much milder decline to 41.5. Later today the Conference Board will announce April’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators where a 1.3% increase is expected.

Meanwhile, Treasury prices are slightly higher with the Long Bond yielding 2.35% and the Ten-Year bringing 1.65%. The Two-Year is still trading around 15 basis points. Crude oil’s slide continues this morning with an early slip of less-than-a-dollar to $62.44 while gold is little changed at $1,870. Equity futures are mixed.