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ANTICIPATION Ahead of US Jobless Claims Announcement…What’s the Hard Data?

While this is a bit harsh, it’s true. Any so-called preview of Thursday’s Jobless Claims report can double as a thesaurus’s entry for the word “optimism.” In case you don’t have a copy of Merriam-Webster handy–who are we kidding, is the go-to these days–a quick scan of Google News will give you the skinny on what Mr. Market is thinking.

Now that you’ve done that, take a look at this. Specifically, at this table (consensus and consensus range according to Econoday):

Previous Consensus* Consensus Range*
New Claims – Level 332K 340K 325K to 352K

A couple good things:

Numbers from last week’s report were actually “the second lowest of the recovery” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The DOL has also said that four-week averages are at a recovery-era trough, which for those that are a bit rusty on ECON 101, this is a bullish indicator.

A couple not so good things:

Jobless claims in Thursday’s report are expected to rise slightly from previous levels.

A quick look at the time-series indicates that a kick-back can be in the cards:



It’s worth noting that the low-end of the consensus range (325K) can still extend the downside, which represents the best case scenario. Obviously, the long-term trend still looks rather promising, but we’ll be watching these short-term numbers closely tomorrow.

One of the three scenarios looks to be in the cards, at least in the very, very short-term:

1) A number on the LOW SIDE near 325K, meaning more optimism should be in store for the markets.

2) A number in the MIDDLE near 340K, pointing toward possible sideways action in the morning hours, with the potential for long-term bulls to be optimistic as the day progresses.

3) A number on the HIGH SIDE near 352K, which may give some bears reason to sell as we head into the weekend.

As a nice close, here’s a look at what old school motivational posters were like:


Disclosure: none