Stimulus Hopes Rise Along With Jobless Claims

Against the backdrop of a possible forthcoming relief bill from Congress, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending December 12th totaled 885k, and that was more than the 818k that analysts predicted and also more than the prior week’s upwardly revised 862k. Continuing Claims for the week ending December 5th fell to 5.5M from the prior week’s slightly revised 5.78M. Surveys only suggested a decline to 5.7M.

Also out from the Census Bureau was November’s report for Housing Starts. Last month, those Starts grew 1.2%, down from October’s revised 6.3% growth but greater than the 0.3% rise that was forecast. Building Permits also grew more than expected last month with a growth rate of 6.2% against an expectation of just 1%. October suffered a dip of 0.1%.

And from the Philadelphia Fed, its Market Outlook Survey Index was expected to fall to 20 this month from November’s 26.3, but instead plummeted to 11.1.

In early trading, Treasury prices are little changed with the Ten-Year yielding around 91 basis points and the Long Bond resting at 1.65%. The Two-Year is right at 12 basis points. The rally in crude oil has resumed with today’s modest gain pushing the price to $48.14 while gold’s $20 boost has taken that price to $1,885. Equity markets like the stimulus prospects and are looking to open well into the green.