Initial jobless claims for the week ended July 5, 2014
The U.S. Department of Labor will release the initial jobless claims numbers for the week of July 5 on Thursday, July 10. Unlike the non-farm payrolls and the JOLTS reports, this is a weekly release. The headline number gives you an estimate of the people filing for first-time unemployment insurance. An increase in initial claims usually implies a slowdown in the jobs market, and vice versa.
Key takeaways from last week’s release
An increase in claims—and, more importantly, the four-week moving average—is a negative for the labor market. However, this is a weekly release. So it’s prone to volatility and affected by unique weekly events. This means it has less of an impact on stock (IVV) and bond (BND) markets. The four-week average smooths out week-to-week volatility. It’s basically the preferred yardstick for economists and analysts in determining labor market trends.
The non-farm payrolls report came out on Thursday, July 3. It has more of an impact on stock (SPY) and bond (AGG) markets. The better-than-expected figures for June propelled the S&P 500 Index (VOO) to a new record high of 1,985.44 on Thursday. Intermediate-term Treasuries, between two and seven years, increased by 3 basis points on July 3 on the upbeat economic outlook.
In the next part of this series, we’ll analyze the outlook for wholesale trade releases for June. These will also come out on Thursday, July 10.