One month of positive economic surprises since the last FOMC may be all we get, now that a "majority" of FOMC members suddenly need a rapid deterioration in economic data to usher in the NEWER, MORE OPEN-ENDED QE. Initial claims was happy to comply: after posting several weeks in a row of "beats", claims has finally resumed "missing", as well as rising, posting an increase from last week's upward revised 368K print to 372K this week, worse than the expected improvement to 365K, and to a one month high. And with continuing claims missing too, the real story continues to be the steep fall off in those on extended benefits and EUC, which declined by a total of 48K in the past week, and down by about half a million in the last few months, and lower by 1.3 million in the past year. This is 1.3 million fewer consumers who can recycle Uncle Sam's dole back into the economy and iGadgets. The question is whether this minimal miss is enough to justify the FOMC doves' fears the much more QE is needed. Judging by the futures reaction to Bullard and claims, the answer is so far no, and in fact points to something very ominous: the closer the Fed (and ECB) come to actually doing something instead of talking about it, the more negative the market reaction seems to be. Woe to Bernanke or Draghi the second they finally have to do something instead of telling listeners to "believe them."
The ongoing collapse in former workers collecting Emergency Unemployment Compensation:
And Market response: