Today's Economic Data Highlights
After an early morning reading on on-line advertising, we have claims, chain-store sales, pending home sales, and the Fed’s balance sheet. Away from the US, 7:45am Eastern sees the ECB rate decision, and at 8:30am is the important conference during which JCT is expected to announce more QE by the ECB. As Brian Yelvington from Knight securities observes, that this news can rise the EUR makes absolutely no sense: "The EUR has risen on this speculation, which seems to be a quandary as if the ECB does purchase, it is participating in QE which is a currency negative and if the ECB does not purchase as expected, it is a clear EMU and currency negative. Further, with over €1.5 trillion in principal and interest due in the next thirteen months alone, any solution would have to be quite sizable to stem the tides. The true solution will be systematic in nature and involve a central treasury-like facility. Till then, the rest is loud political noise."
The Monster index of on-line job advertising fell two points in November, but on a seasonally adjusted basis it was unchanged. On a year-to-year basis, the increase in this measure of on-line advertising remains up about 13%, a smaller gain than in the early summer (up about 20% in June and July). Yesterday, the Conference Board reported a 47,400 (about 1%, month-to-month) increase in its count of on-line advertised vacancies.
8:30: Unemployment insurance claims….was that drop for real? Initial claims fell 34k in the week that ended November 20, to the lowest level since July 2008. However, before seasonal adjustment, the change was +52k; in other words, this is a week when claims normally increase significantly (about 86k), and this year’s increase was smaller than normal. We have no particular reason to question the seasonal factors other than the fact that weekly adjustments can be tricky. So this week’s report, while it pertains to a period following the reference week for tomorrow’s payroll figures, will provide an important indication as to whether the trend in layoffs and other involuntary job separations is abating. There’s obviously considerable uncertainty about this amongst economists, as the range of estimates is quite high. We will also be interested, of course, in whether the number of recipients continues to decline, though in a couple of weeks these figures will again be influenced not only by expirations of eligibility for the extended and emergency programs but by the fact that these programs ran out again this week.
For initial claims, median forecast (of 46): 424k, ranging from 395k to 470k; last 407k.
For continuing claims, median forecast (of 12): 4.2 million, ranging from 4.15mm to 4.3mm; last 4.182mm.
c. 9:15: GS Retail Index for Nov…Our retail analysts are looking for this index of same-store sales gains to return to the 3½%-4% range it occupied for five months prior to a modest dip to 2.7% in October.
10:00: Pending home sales index for Oct....another decline? This index lost ground in September following the recovery from its post tax credit slump. Estimates are biased toward another decline in October.
Median forecast (of 40): -1%, ranging from -4.8% to +3.0%; last -1.8%.
16:30: Federal Reserve balance sheet….Last week’s report showed the first effects of the large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs). Expect more of the same for the next seven months.
Via Goldman Sachs and ZH
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