Thursday, November 1, 2012

Markets rise on lower unemployment claims

Dow rose 143, advancers over decliners almost 4-1 & NAZ gained 37.   The MLP index was up fractionally & the REIT index rose 2+ to the 261s from its recent lows. Junk bond funds (stocks with high yields) were higher while Treasuries pulled back as money went into stocks.  Oil & gold were little changed.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

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Treasury yields:

U.S. 3-month


U.S. 2-year


U.S. 10-year


CLG13.NYM...Crude Oil Feb 13...87.55 ...Up 0.27 (0.3%)

GCX12.CMX....Gold Nov 12....1,718.50 ...Up 1.00 (0.1%)

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease by 9,000 to 363,000

Photo:   Bloomberg

Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment last week, an indication demand is strong enough to maintain current staff levels.  Applications fell 9K to 363K, the fewest in 3 weeks, according to the Labor Dept.  The forecast was for 370K claims.  Data for NJ & DC were estimated because those offices were closed due to Hurricane Sandy.  Fewer layoffs may mean companies are poised to boost hiring should the economy avert damage from the package of tax increases & spending cuts that could take effect next year if lawmakers fail to act.  But the jobs report  tomorrow may show employers took on 125K workers in Oct, not enough to keep the jobless rate from rising to 7.9% from 7.8%.

Initial U.S. Jobless Claims Decrease by 9,000 to 363,000

Confidence among consumers climbed in Oct to a more than a 4 four-year high.  The Conference Board’s sentiment index increased to 72.2, the highest since Feb 2008, from a revised 68.4 in Sep.  The figure was projected to rise to 73.  The percent of respondents who say jobs are currently plentiful rose to the highest level since Sep 2008 (Lehman collapse), indicating that a decline in joblessness is brightening Americans’ moods.  Lower gasoline prices & a budding housing recovery are also contributing to the improvement in confidence.  The Conference Board’s measure of present conditions increased to 56.2 from 48.7 in Sep.  The measure of expectations for the next 6 months increased to 82.9 from 81.5.  The percent of respondents in the Conference Board survey saying jobs are plentiful climbed to 10.3 from 8.1.  The proportion of consumers who expect their incomes to rise over the next six months climbed to 16.7 from 15.9 in Sep.

Consumer Confidence in U.S. Rises to Highest Level Since 2008

The markets are feeling good even though there are plenty of problems.  Unemployment data remains at drab levels.  The massive storm in the east will disrupt a lot of economic activity.  On the other hand, rebuilding will help the economy.  Of course, somebody has to pay for rebuilding & that is the federal gov which means it will borrow more as it approaches the new debt ceiling.  Today's rally does not take Dow away from the sideways band it has been in for months. 

Dow Jones Industrials

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1 comment:


Would not get to excited about somewhat lower unemployment claims.