The market continues to fly higher in the face of bad news. This morning’s jobless claims surged unexpectedly higher to 576K – a truly remarkable figure this far into a “recovery”. Econoday reports:
Jobless claims data are a disappointment, showing increases in both initial claims and continuing claims. Initial claims for the Aug. 15 week rose 15,000 to 576,000 with the Aug. 8 week revised 3,000 higher. The result is well above expectations for 550,000. Continuing claims for the Aug. 8 week rose 2,000 to 6.241 million for a second increase in three weeks. There are no special factors skewing the data. The four-week average for initial claims rose for a third straight week and is now trailing the latest week at 570,000. The four-week average for continuing claims offers some good news, at 6.266 million for a 3,000 improvement in the week and well down from 6.548 million a month ago. The unemployment rate for insured workers, unchanged at 4.7 percent, also offers some good news. But the headline rise in initial claims is a disappointment pointing to no improvement for August payroll data. Stocks and commodities dipped in immediate reaction to the news.
In other news, Sears reported an absolutely horrible quarter. Shares are down 13% on the news. Despite $1B in cost cutting, the company still missed estimates. Revenues were down 10% year over year while same store sales at KMart and Sears both fell double digits. The consumer continues to struggle.
Naturally, the S&P 500 is tacking on 0.5% this morning….
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.