Initial Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Since January 2008 As 366K People Fall Off Extended Claims

While it is unclear how many states' data the BLS had to estimate today, the weekly initial claims print was impressive, sliding even lower than last week, when it came at 335K, and refuting expectations of a rise to 355K, instead reversing and printing the lowest weekly number since January 2008: 330K. What is impressive is that the NSA number dropped by a whopping 120K in the past week, making one wonder how much of the ongoing moves are simply a seasonal adjustments mismatch (a question even Goldman asked last night). Perhaps just as curious is that a whopping 365,641 people dropped off Extended Claims in the first week of January, unclear if this had anything to do with the Fiscal Cliff can kicking: certainly a third of a million Americans suddenly stopped receiving weekly jobless claims benefits from Uncle Sam. The biggest news from this is that with so many people dropping out of the labor force, the January unemployment rate will truly plunge, which is precisely the red flag observed by traders, and is the reason why the market is not taking this news in stride. Remember - all it takes for the end of endless QE is a stable improvement in the labor pool. Could this be it? Of course not, but doubts are starting to emerge.