Jobless Claims Inch Lower

For the first time since the pandemic induced lockdown and related measures took effect, Initial Jobless Claims came in under a million. For the week ending August 8th, the BLS reported this morning that Initial Jobless Claims fell to 963k from the prior week’s slightly revised 1.19M. Analysts were expecting 1.1M. Continuing Claims for the week ending August 1st also fared better than expected by coming in at 15.49M; down from the prior week’s downwardly revised 16.09M. Pre-release estimates were only looking for a dip to 15.8M. The survey week for Initial Claims was the first week after the supplemental $600 weekly unemployment benefits had expired.

Also out this morning, the Import Price Index rose 0.7% in July against an estimate of a 0.6% gain. Year-over-year, however, that rate stands at a deflationary minus 3.3%, slightly more negative than the minus 3.1% estimate. For export prices, that Index rose by 0.8% last month and that was twice what was anticipated. Year-over-year, the Export Price Index also sits at an also deflationary minus 4.4%.

This morning’s Claims news has helped turn equity futures arrows from red to green while Treasuries drift sideways. The Ten-Year’s yield is around 68 basis points, gold is up a little bit to $1,922, and crude oil is steady at about $42.60. The Treasury will auction $26B Thirty-Year bonds later today. Retail Sales for July comes out tomorrow morning.