Today's Economic Data Highlights
Several data points today, with data on claims (accelerated by a day) and imports supplementing a twin (trade and budget) deficit day… But since all econ news is now noise, with good news beinbg sold, and vice versa, at 2 pm we get the new POMO schedule, which is really all that matters.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of mortgage applications rose 5.8% with gains almost evenly divided between the purchase loan index (+5.5%) and the index for refinancing (+6.0%).
8:30: Unemployment insurance claims….fluctuating with no clear trend? Initial claims appear to be stuck at around 450k per week, which is where median forecast is this week. Continuing claims have trended down more visibly, as dues the total number of benefit recipients. However, this is mostly if not entirely due to exhaustions of eligibility. The figures will be reported a day earlier this week due to the Veteran’s Day holiday (for the federal government and for fixed-income markets), which could create some noise—verbal if not statistical—if some states have not reported data in time.
For initial claims, median forecast (of 46): 450k, ranging from 435k to 469k; last 457k.
For continuing claims, median forecast (of 14): 4.305 million, ranging from 4.3mm to 4.37mm; last 4.34mm.
8:30: The US trade balance for Sep.…will it ever narrow? Analysts, including us, are predicting that it will, after some significant and largely unexpected deterioration in recent months. However, the large increase in wholesale inventories reported yesterday suggests that there could be some upside (higher-deficit) surprise here, as these inventories often reflect the importation of goods. The Commerce Department assumed essentially no change in the balance of trade in goods in its preliminary estimate for third-quarter real GDP growth.
GS: -$44bn, median forecast (of 75) -$45bn, ranging from -$49bn to -$39.1bn; last -$46.3bn.
8:30: Import/export price indexes for Oct….a surge? The surge in crude oil prices is surely part of the median forecast for a jump in import prices. Dollar weakness should start showing up in prices of other imports as well, though it may be a bit soon for this.
Median forecast (of 54): +1.2%, ranging from +0.4% to +2.2%; last -0.3%.
14:00: The US budget balance for Oct…off to a running start. The CBO estimates that the US Treasury started the new fiscal year with a $140bn deficit. We reckoned a bit less, but CBO is rarely more than a few billion dollars off. The apparent improvement from October 2009 is due to a calendar-related shift in outlays.
Median forecast (of 35) -$140bn, ranging from -$130bn to -$164.9n; last (Oct 2009): -$176.4bn
14:00: QE2 POMO schedule released...Full data here when posted.
From Goldman and Zero Hedge