About Me

Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

News On Jobless Claims, Employment

Two interesting items which helped the stock market today:

Jobless Claims
Unemployment insurance claims for the prior week dropped to 359K. In a recent post (scroll
down), I mentioned jobless claims -- a good weekly leading economic indicator and one which
stocks players watch carefully -- needed to fall from the 380K+ area back down to 360K to
hold the rally. Moreover, I think claims need to stay around 360K, or even better, pierce that
level to the downside to support further gains in stocks. Take a careful look at weekly jobless
claims for 2012 here. Further improvement is something just short of overdue.

Payroll Employment
Back on Jul.6, I posted that payroll jobs growth was about 800K short of the more current and
broader household survey. Details Subsequent reports from BLS dropped the discrepancy to
414K jobs in favor of the household survey, and a new benchmark revision of payroll data
from BLS claims the payroll numbers have been 386K too light over the pasy year. This will
eventually force upward revisions to a number of economic time series when the final benchmark
numbers are officially posted early next year. In the interim, it gives the Obama guys a fresh and
positive talking point toward the election and and the new data helps a little with economic
strategizing and market sentiment in the short run.

Note however, that business remains an extraordinary cheapskate in handing out wage increases
to the rank and file and that resulting poor income growth keeps the economy far more tenuous
than needs be.

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