More much needed positive news in the jobs arena. Jobless claims dipped to 451K vs an expected reading of 470K (via Econoday):
In a sign of improvement for the labor market, initial jobless claims fell substantially in the September 4 week. Claims came in at 451,000 vs. 478,000 in the prior week (revised from 472,000). The 451,000 level is the lowest since July and the second lowest since May. The Labor Department told Market News International that nine states had to be estimated due to delays tied to the holiday shortened week, but the government stressed that data since confirm the improvement. The four-week average fell nearly 10,000 to 477,750 and is only slightly higher than a month-ago.
Continuing claims show only fractional change for a second week, at 4.478 million in data for the August 28 week with the four-week average at 4.488 million, the latter down mildly from the month-ago reading. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at 3.5 percent.