Back to top

Economic Highlights

March 21: Jobs Scenario Improving

 ZacksTrade Now

 

Happy spring!

The market seems to have been celebrating for awhile, but the results are panning out: Jobless Claims are way down year over year, registering 336K for the week. Though this is up 2,000 from last week's adjusted 334K, the fact that we have a consistent level below 350K has to be seen, even by the biggest naysayers of today's economy, that things are much better than they have been. It wasn't all too long ago we spent YEARS over the 400K mark in Jobless Claims.

Existing Home Sales, Leading Indicators and the Philly Fed survey are on tap for a busy Thursday. Any of these bringing relatively bad news could challenge upward momentum in the markets. But based on Jobless Claims alone, one has to point this out: the market has been right again.

Need a crystal ball? Check the stock market.

Yes, it's true the big companies reporting "before" earnings season like FedEx (FDX) and Oracle (ORCL) missed Q1 estimates, but the macro-view has been nothing but positive lately (…at least if you don't investigate certain small European islands too closely). Lennar (LEN) posted higher earnings and revenues yesterday, helping articulate the ongoing boom in the housing market.

Housing gaining traction is not only an excellent touchstone for market bulls, but it's also quite different from the scenario of the past several years. As you may remember, we'd been wandering through the desert (for what seemed like 40 years, though it was really only 4) waiting for housing to "build" again. Housing positively affects so many sectors within our economy, it's very likely appearing to be a silver bullet for America now that it's finally come around.

Then again, as a leading indicator, market bears still have reason to squawk -- everything's up ("Uh oh!"). And right on time, futures are down this morning. Europe was down today. Have we already priced in all the good news from housing? That's surely an oversimplification, but every once in awhile, there's a good reason someone poops the party.

Existing Home Sales are scheduled for release today at 10:00 AM EST. Our consensus estimate shows this indicator is expected to increase to 5.01 million from the annual pace of 4.92 million reported in January.

 

 

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
RPC INC RES 24.91 +8.35%
LITHIA MOTO… LAD 94.59 +4.60%
DELTA AIR L… DAL 39.15 +3.90%
FLAMEL TECH… FLML 14.51 +3.50%
SOUTHWEST A… LUV 28.87 +2.92%