Claims/weather/4 week avg back to trend

Initial Jobless Claims totaled 383k, well below expectations of 410k and down from a revised 419k last week BUT, a Labor Dept spokesperson said winter weather is still distorting the data. The 3rd week of Jan spiked to 457k and the following two weeks work that off. The 4 week average, smoothing out the figure, fell to 416k from 432k last week and is back to where it was in late Dec, early Jan. It is this normalization rather than a new leg down in claims that is the reason for the no response from the S&P futures to the figure. Continuing Claims fell by 26k but Extended Benefits rose a net 84k. Bottom line, smoothing out the data, initial claims are back to the low 400k’s which points to further improvement (decline) in the pace of firings.

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