Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekly jobless claims take a dip

Fresh from the Dept of Labor website:

In the week ending Sept. 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 465,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 453,000. The 4-week moving average was 463,250, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 466,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 11, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 3.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Sept. 11 was 4,489,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,537,000. The 4-week moving average was 4,519,500, an increase of 2,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,517,000.

It’s worth noting that for the second week in a row, the previous week’s revisions all but wiped out the gains announced with the initial release.  Last week’s revisions produced a net gain of 1,000.  This week’s revision produced a zero gain, and this week’s initial release shows a loss of 12,000 for a three week trend of a weakening job market.

Markets probably won’t like this news.

Existing housing sales data are out later this morning.  Expectations are for another contraction.  And this is “absolutely moving in the right direction?”

Update:  Existing home sales came in somewhat higher than expected.  Analysts were expecting continued contraction but the period saw a decent 7.6% increase.  The increase was a “bounce” off of last month’s historic low. We still have about a year’s worth of inventory to work down, which should continue to pressure home prices.  While that’s not good for those looking to sell, it’s good for a potential upward trend through the fall.