21 May 2009

Economics Update

The Economic Downturn and Contemporary Art Sales, courtesy of Felix Salmon
Well, Thursday is jobless claims day, and weekly initial jobless claims fell by 12,000, to 631,000, and the 4 week moving average fell to 628,500 from 632,000, but continuing claims hit yet another new record, hitting the number of the beast, 6.66 million.

Meanwhile, more GDP data from more countries has come out, and it is almost uniformly grim.

Additionally, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index is showing further contraction, though it did rise, from -24.4 to -22.6.

Of course, the press is touting the fact that the April leading economic indicators rose, but this is a volatile index, and is not supposed to mean anything until you have 3 straight months up or down.

Meanwhile, Treasuries fell, and yields rose, on reports that the Fed will be buying less of them, and on an announcement that the government would be selling an additional $162 billion of them next week.

Basically, it's inflation concerns, which also drove the dollar to a 4 month low.

Oil rose, largely on profit taking from yesterday's high.


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