Initial Jobless Claims totaled 393k, 3k above estimates and last week was revised up by 3k to 391k but it is the 3rd week in a row below 400k and the 4 week average is now 394k from 398k last week. Continuing Claims rose by 68k and were 70k higher than expected but Extended Benefits fell a net 7k. Bottom line, while the economic dark clouds in Europe are spreading, US employers, either because they’re already lean and/or optimistic that things will get better, have become more reluctant to fire workers. Oct Durable Goods orders fell .7% headline but rose .7% ex transports, both were better than expected but Sept was revised down by a similar amount so taken together, the figures were about in line with expectations. The key disappointment though were in orders for Non Defense Capital Goods ex Aircraft, the core cap ex component, which fell 1.8% vs the estimate of down 1.0% and Sept was revised to a gain of just .9% vs the initial read of 2.4%. Shipments, which get directly plugged into GDP, did rise 1.3% and with a .5% rise in inventories, the inventory to shipments ratio ticked down to 1.81 from 1.82.
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