Jobless Claims Show Improvement

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that Initial Jobless claims for the week ending March 20th totaled 684k and that was less than the prior week’s upwardly revised 781k and also less than the expected 730k. This is also the first week since the year-long lockdown began that Initial Claims were less than 700k. Continuing Claims for the week ending March 13th fell to 3.87M from a slightly revised 4.13M. Analysts were expecting 4M. This is also a new low for Continuing Claims over the lockdown period.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis also reported its final tally for Q4 GDP and the previously reported 4.1% became 4.3%. A little later, the Kansas City Fed will issue a report that is expected to tell us that its Manufacturing Index improved slightly this month. The Treasury will also be selling $62B Seven-Year notes this afternoon.

Treasury prices were already slightly higher prior to the release of this morning’s data and continue to edge up slightly more. The Ten-Year’s yield has slipped just below 1.60% while the Long Bond is bringing 2.30%. The Two-Year is little changed at 14 basis points. Crude oil has slipped almost $2 to $59.44 while gold’s $7 slide takes that price to $1,728. Equity futures are flashing red.