It’s hard to imagine a flatter session for US stocks, which barely budged today, despite several encouraging economic reports this morning.
DJIA eases 16 to 11570, S&P 500 loses 2 to 1258, Nasdaq Comp slips 4 to 2663. NYSE volume at roughly 1.87B shares composite is one of if not the lowest of the year.
Jobless claims drop sharply to under 400,000, lowest since July ’08. Chicago PMI surprises to the upside, and pending home sales rise (still down from a year ago.) While the direction in jobless claims is clearly improving, the surprisingly large drop today should make you cautious. We wrote this up for the wire earlier:
Barclays says the drop in jobless claims is “clearly a positive signal regarding the labor market and reinforces the downward trend that has been in place since mid-summer.” But firm notes it expected a drop, as the report’s seasonal factors anticipated a sharper rise in the non-seasonally adjusted numbers than actually appeared; unadjusted claims rose by 25,000 to 522,000, less than usual for this time of year, firm says. “While we expect this downward trend to continue, we expect next week’s report to show a bounce back up to 410,000 for initial claims for the week ending Jan. 1, as the usual seasonal rise in unadjusted claims begins.”
Also, we’re all off tomorrow, so unless we get some burst of nervous energy, this is likely our last post for 2010. Year went by like lightning. Let’s hope 2011 is better, but hope, as has often been noted, is not a very good basis for action.
Thanks for reading the blog. We’ll see you next week.