Following last week's somewhat twilight zone-like Verizon-strike-driven confusion, today's initial claims report (once again revised upwards) makes for 20 of the last 21 weeks above 400k and its highest (yet to be revised upwards) since 7/15. The four-week average, oft cited to smooth this revision-prone series, rose for the first time since 6/24. While initial claims was a very small beat of expectations (at 409k versus exp 410k), continuing claims (which was rather ubiquitously revised up once again) missed expectations by a rather wide margin coming at 3735k versus 3681k expected (though some will claim still a drop from last week's upwardly revised 3753k but let's just wait til next week's upward revision before we celebrate that). Extended and EUC ticked up just a little from 3637.8k to 3675.9k but remains more than 1.2mm lower than a year ago - still fewer comfortable consumers to spend.
Of course the market's newly re-programmed response of worse is better has kicked into high gear as ES drifts higher on weak economic data.