Today's Economic Data Highlights - Claims, More Fed, But No POMO

The day starts with more data on the job market; we then see retailers’ reports, listen to a couple of Fed speeches, and wind up with consumer credit and the Fed’s balance sheet.
The Monster index of on-line job advertising moved up two points in September, reversing the loss sustained in August but falling a bit short of the July high for this fledgling recovery.  If we seasonally adjust the data, the picture is not quite as good; September still represents a slight improvement over August, but the index is more clearly below the levels reached earlier in the summer (on this basis, June is the recent high.)
8:30: Unemployment insurance claims….still range-bound?  Nobody expects much of a change in either initial or continuing claims for regular programs, as the labor market appears to have softened.  We will continue to focus on the total number of recipients on all programs.  It has come down in recent weeks, though most of this appears to be due to the exhaustion of eligibility for the 99 weeks now provided rather than people finding work.
For initial claims, median forecast (of 47): 455k, ranging from 440k to 470k; last 453k.
For continuing claims, median forecast (of 15): 4.45 million, ranging from 4.42mm to 4.5mm; last 4.457mm.

13:20: Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher speaks on current economic conditions…to the Economic Club of Minnesota.  He will almost certainly offer a different view than those recently expressed by Presidents William Dudley and Charles Evans of New York and Chicago, respectively.  Fisher moves onto the voting rotation of the FOMC in 2011.
13:30: Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig speaks at an economic forum…and while Fisher’s take on the current situation and what the Fed should do about it may be hard to predict, it is likely that Mr. Hoenig will offer some counterarguments to the recent statements by Messrs. Dudley and Evans.  Mr. Hoenig is a voting member of the FOMC in 2010 and has dissented at each of the six meetings thus far.
15:00: Consumer credit for Aug…more declines?  Outstanding balances have dropped almost continuously since September 2008, interrupted only twice (both times in January) by very small upticks.  Some of this is write-downs; some is paydown.  Most economists think the trend continued in August.
Median forecast (of 39): -$3.5bn, ranging from -$7.5bn to +$1.8bn; last -$3.6bn.
16:30: Federal Reserve balance sheet….The size of the Fed’s balance sheet remains around $2.3 trillion as repayments of principal on agency debt and MBS is now being reinvested into US Treasuries.  This shift will show up slowly over time, as the amounts per week are in the $3-$4bn neighborhood.
From Goldman Sachs



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