Jobless Claims and Job Cuts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending January 2nd totaled 787k as the prior week was upwardly revised by 3k to 790k. Forecasters were expecting 800k. Continuing Claims for the week ending December 26th fell to 5.07M from a slightly revised 5.2M. This beat analysts’ expectations for 5.2M. Earlier, Challenger, Gray, and Christmas reported that Job Cuts year-over-year increased in December by 134.5% and that was up significantly from November’s twelve-month rate of 45.4%. And from the Census Bureau, we learned that the nation’s negative Trade Balance widened to minus $68.1B in November from the prior month’s minus $63.1B. Forecasters were looking for minus $67.3B.

Treasury prices continue to edge lower pushing the Ten-Year’s yield to 1.05% while the Long Bond’s sell-off takes that yield to 1.83%. The Two-Year yields around 14 basis points as the yield curve steepens a bit more. Crude oil is up slightly to $50.78 while gold is little changed at $1,917. Equity markets buoyed by the prospect of more fiscal stimulus from a Democratic Congress are poised to open in the green. The BLS will release its December Unemployment Report tomorrow morning.