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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Europe Is Happy, And Jobless Claims Are Better Than Expected

In Europe, Swiss CPI fell 20 bps to a level of 0.0% for December - good news, but still missing expectations by 20 bps (and bringing the annual CPI increase to a 0.5%, which also misses expectations by 20 bps). German Manufacturer's Orders climbed 360 bps in November to finish at a 5.2% increase for the month.
The European Union released a couple of average figures as well. Across the member states, retail sales fell 130 bps to a level of -0.8% for November (missing expectations by 90 bps). Economic sentiment is positive though, improving 110 bps in December to a level of 106.2, with industrial sentiment up 310 bps to 4, but consumer sentiment falling 160 bps to -11. Obviously, European manufacturers and retailers are more positive than consumers at this moment.
And is Europe up on this overall good news? Let's see... As of 8:36 AM, the FTSE 100 is up 0.59%, the DAX is up 1.26%, and the CAC 40 is up 0.86%. So yes, yes they are.
Leaving Europe behind, we travel north and then south to the United States, where First Time Jobless Claims are due out any moment now. If you remember from last week, we had unexpectedly good news with only 388k new claims. For the week ending January 1, analysts are expecting to see that climb back up (possibly on seasonal employment coming to an end) to 412k new claims. The actual figures - 409,000 new claims - are mildly better than expected. Six states (Florida, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Arizona) saw their first time jobless claims improve, but seventeen states saw things get worse (with California almost single-handedly counteracting the improvement in the six positive states)[1]
Later today, we get the US Chain Stores Sales report[2], the EIA Natural Gas Report (at 10:30 AM EST), and the Fed Balance Sheet and the Money Supply Report (both at 4:30 PM EST).
[1] If that's not clear, try this: Combined, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Arizona saw jobless claims decline by 17,209. California saw it's first time jobless claims increase by 15,972.
[2] Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and so on and so forth. This is not a huge market mover, but these chain stores do represent about 10% of domestic retail sales. So they are considered to indicate the direction of general retail sales and of consumer spending trends. It comes out when it comes out.

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