Initial Claims Print Is So Bad, It Is Actually Good, That Market Sees It As Bad
Today's initial claims print was the 5th week out of 6 in which expectations missed: instead of coming in at the consensus number of 375K, down from last week's 382K, the BLS reported a miss to expectations of 7K, resulting in a seasonally adjusted number of 382K, or what is now once again secular shift higher. But, wait big miss was actually good news: why? Because the ever data-massaging BLS was kind enough to revise last week's print upward (for the 86th week in a row) from 382K to 385K (just as we predicted last week) which in turn led to such farcical headlines as " U.S. weekly jobless claims drop slightly to 382,000" from the WSJ. And so bad news is now great headlines: Orwell would be proud. Here is an alternative and realistic headline: "Initial Claims Rise Post Next Week's Upward Revision."
To observe the simply ridiculous disconnect between initial claims prints and subsequent revision, is the following chart of cumulative claims changes courtesy of John Lohman, which shows an epic gap of 131,000: based on -133K of cumulative initial announcements and just-2K per revisions. And there is your BLS data propaganda at work.
Another divergence: S&P vs Claims:
In a direct slap to the US nanny state, those receiving extended benefits dropped by 41K in the past week, and is now lower by 1.38 million compared to last week. Hopefully all these people have found a cushy retirement in the recesses of Disability and Food Stamps.
And finally, in what may be the greatest news yet, the bad news, which was good news, may actually, for the first time in a long time, be bad news for the market: unlike the past year when horrible claims prints were good news for stocks, this time around futures are finally tanking on reality as all QE to infinity and beyond has been priced in.
Ball is now in the Fed's court.