Weekly Unemployment Claims dropped 8K to 623K while Continuing Claims rose 11K to a new record high. The four-week moving average rose to 607K, the first time we’ve been in the 600 handle since November 1982.
Retail Sales were also released, surprising to the upside with a print of plus 1%. The ex-autos component was also higher, up .9%. Better than expected sales at auto retailers, gas stations, and general merchandise did the trick. Gift card redemptions may have been behind this however, distorting the numbers for January.
Last but not least, Business Inventories fell 1.3% and Sales dropped 3.2%, a bit more that market consensus. Market reaction has been bearish for both bonds and stocks. Currently, the 10-year note is off 3/32’s, trading at 2.81%.
Careful out there.