This Morning’s News is Mixed

Lots of numbers this morning starting with the unpleasant news that Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending February 13th totaled 861k while analysts expected only 773k. The prior week’s 793k was revised to 848k and that wasn’t very good news either. Continuing Claims for the week ending February 6th fell to 4.49M from the prior week’s slightly revised 4.56M. Pre-release estimates were calling for 4.43M. We also learned that Housing Starts plunged 6% last month in the face of an expected slip of just 0.5%. December’s rise of 5.8% was revised to 8.2%. But, Building Permits soared by 10.4% in January versus an expected decline of 1.4%.

From the BLS, we learned that the Import Price Index rose by a higher-than-expected 1.4% last month with the year-over-year pace rising to 0.9% from 0.4%. Export Prices also got a boost in January with that Index rising 2.5% and that helped boost the year-over-year rate to 2.3% from a slightly revised 0.4%. Quite a move for inflation watchers. Lastly, the Philly Fed’s Business Outlook Survey Index fell less than expected to a value of 23.1 from 26.5 as forecasters expected a bigger plunge to 20.

Treasury prices were already lower in early trading and have slipped a tad more since the release of this morning’s data. The Long Bond is off about a point to 2.08% while the Ten-Year’s smaller price slide has pushed that yield to 1.30%. The Two-Year is steady at 10 basis points as the steeper curve reflects new and higher inflationary concerns and possibly expectations. Crude oil has rallied about a half-dollar to $61.62 while gold’s $6 advance takes that price to $1,783. Domestic equity markets may open down a bit.