Initial Jobless Claims disappointed relative to expectations for the 8th week in the past 9, totaling 427k, 8k above estimates and last week was revised up by 4k to 426k. The 4 week average is now 424k from 427k last week. Continuing Claims fell by 71k and Extended Benefits fell a net 52k. Bottom line, Claims are now stubbornly above 400k for a 9th straight week and points to a still very lackluster labor market that was on full display when the May payroll figures were released last week. The April Trade Deficit was $5b below estimates as a 1.3% rise in Exports to a record high more than offset a .4% drop in Imports. The drop in imports was led by petro and imports from Japan also fell sharply. Bottom line, the lower than expected deficit may lead to a rise in Q2 GDP estimates of up to .4%.
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