A barrage of economic data this morning. Initial jobless claims came at 420K, a slight decline from the prior number of 423K, and as always woefully insufficient to actually start helping the unemployment rate. The prior was naturally revised higher, as we expected last week. On the other hand, continuing claims jumped from 4.086MM to 4.135MM on expectations of 4.115MM. NSA claims continued to be a notably higher than seasonal, and was at 486,284 this week. Most notably, people claiming benefits across all Unemployment Insurance Programs rose by a huge 893,959 in the week ended November 27 (of which 142K was in EUC and 182K was in extended claims) Elsewhere, housing starts came at 555K on expectations of 550K, up slightly from a previous 519K. And while this number was a slight improvement, it was offset by the building permits, which dropped from 552K to 530K, on expectations of 560K. Lastly, the current account deficit came in worse than expected at ($127.2 billion) on expectations of ($126) billion, and down from (123.3) billion previously. All in all another day of if not broad economic weakness, then complete lack of improvement.
Initial claims - link
Housing starts and building permits release - link
Current account statement - link