Initial Jobless Claims is a weekly report that tracks how many people have filed for unemployment benefits. It is both a solid gauge on the state of the labor market and economy, and a leading indicator on what to expect in the months ahead. So, what are Initial Jobless Claims telling us today? Last week’s 196,000 recorded was the lowest in over 50 years! This is what it’s telling us:

  1. The labor market continues to strengthen.
  2. The chance of a recession in 2019 is near zero.

Low Initial Jobless Claims also leads to continued higher wage gains, which is wonderful for consumer spending and housing.

Another great data point this past week was the JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) which showed the US economy still has a 1,000,000-person shortfall against the current 7,000,000 job openings. This is just another example of how tight the labor market remains.

Bottom line – the great story remains low rates, plus a great job market, equal an attractive housing market.

Looking forward: With just some mid-tier economic data this week, the US markets will look to the canary in the coal mine for direction — corporate earnings season. Will corporate earnings confirm that a slight economic slowdown has taken place here in the US? The numbers will give an indication, as will their guidance or forecast for the future.

Housing data for March will also be closely watched with the kickoff of the spring homebuying season. In addition, consumer spending will be released in the form of Retail Sales. Consumer spending makes up about 68% of the US economy and is a main driver of economic growth.

This week is shortened by the upcoming holiday. The bond markets will close early on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET, and are closed on Good Friday. US stock markets are also closed on Good Friday.

Reports to watch:

  • Manufacturing data will come from Monday’s release of the Empire State Index followed by Thursday’s Philadelphia Fed Index.
  • Housing Starts and Building Permits will be delivered on Wednesday.
  • Retail Sales and Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday.

Source: Vantage

Related Articles

This past week, home loan rates ticked up again despite the Fed recently cutting rates by a full point and the 10-year Note remaining just above 1%. Why? Mortgage backed securities (MBS) are bonds that price home loan rates. This week, the spread or difference in yield between the 10-year…
Read More of the post Coronavirus and Extreme Volatility

The continued strength of the labor market, along with historically low mortgage rates, will keep positive housing momentum alive in 2020. The Unemployment Rate is currently at a 50-year low of 3.6% with expectations for the index to push even lower to 3.25% by year's end, matching lows last seen…
Read More of the post A Great 2020 Housing Story

Home loan rates continue to hover near three-year lows. There are some on Wall Street who say rates are going to push even lower at some point — and they may be right. But what if they're wrong? What if rates have bottomed for the foreseeable future? Yes, locking a…
Read More of the post What the Market Is Saying

Bonds love uncertainty and bad news. As a result, rates improve when not-so-good news emerges. That was the story this past week, as China has reported a new deadly coronavirus has started to spread in their country. The virus, which spreads through human contact, has taken several lives and has…
Read More of the post Uncertainty Helps Rates

We recognize this is a difficult time for many people. Click here or call 866-913-2951 for more information and to learn about current options available to our borrowers.