Today's Events: Bernanke Testimony, Initial Claims And Productivity

Punxsutawney Ben, who just saw the printer's shadow, and predicts six more trillion of free money, will address the House Budget Committee later this morning. We will also get the latest BS from the BLS how thousands of mass layoffs every day result in a drop in initial claims.

8:30: Jobless claims (Week of January 28): Declining again? Initial jobless claims rebounded last week following a decline of nearly 50k in the second week of January. Goldman thinks year-end seasonal noise has probably faded from the data by this point, and would expect claims to resume their gradual decline.
Consensus:  371,000; Last: 377,000.

8:30: Productivity and costs (Q4-Prelim): Higher GDP, but also higher hours. GDP growth picked up in Q4 compared to Q3, but labor hours worked actually increased by a larger amount. This suggests a deceleration in productivity (output per hour) growth for the quarter. Compensation data point to a small positive gain in unit labor costs, following a contraction in Q3.
Productivity: GS: +1.0%; Consensus: +0.8%; Last (Q3-fin) +2.3%.
Unit labor costs: Consensus: +0.8%; Last (Q3-fin) -2.5%.

9:00: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans gives briefing to reporters.

10:00: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Budget Committee on the state of the US economy. This event is not the Chairman’s semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress (“Humphrey-Hawkins”), which should occur later this month.

19:15: Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher on the economy.

Source: Goldman Sachs