Relentless Jobless Claims

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending May 2nd rose by 3.169M against an expected increase of just 3M. The claims count, though higher than predicted, continues a downward trend after the prior week’s 3.846M. Continuing Claims came in much higher than expected at 22.674M versus market estimates of 19.8M.

Earlier today, the Challenger Job Cuts report for April disclosed an increase in those cuts of 1,577%. March’s Job Cuts portrayed an increase of 267%. The BLS also reported that, in the first quarter, Non-Farm Productivity fell by 2.5%; much less than the anticipated 5.5% dip. A related statistic, Unit Labor Costs, rose by 4.8% in Q1 against a predicted increase of 4.5%. The Q4 2019 rise was less than 1%.

After yesterday’s sell-off, Treasury prices are slightly higher, and the Ten-Year’s yield has slipped below 70 basis points. Crude oil is enjoying a rally of over $2/barrel to slightly over $26. Gold is up around $10 to $1,696/ounce.