CPI, inflation at the consumer level, was unchanged for February with the core index up .1%. Moderating energy prices along with a weak jobs market and not so confident consumer sentiment has made the inflation picture a non issue. Weekly Unemployment Claims were also released, falling 5K to 457K. Continuing Claims jumped another 12K but the most startling print came via the number of people who have used all their traditional benefits and are now collecting extended payments. That number jumped 352K.
Leading Indicators for the month of February were also on the docket, rising .1% but still point to a slow recovery. Only 4 of the 10 components showed signs of improvement. Last but not least was the Philly Fed Survey which improved 1.3 points to 18.9. However, New orders declined from 22.7 to 9.3 and Capital Expenditures fell from 16.3 to 9.7. The news does not bode well for business investment in the first quarter. I’m going to cut this short as the market is starting to slip. Currently, the 10 year note is off 9/32’s (yield 3.68%) and mortgage backs are off 4/32’s. A mortgage price change for the worse is right around the corner. More in a few.