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Better Than Expected Jobless Claims And Inflation News Lift Stocks

The major indexes closed solidly higher yesterday with the Dow and the S&P both up over 0.50%, while the Nasdaq was up 0.75%. And they are all poised to close higher for the week.

Can't believe we're still waiting on news from Canada regarding trade talks. But both the U.S and Canada sound optimistic about the negotiations, so traders are expecting good news, whenever the news comes.

As you can imagine, hurricane Florence is on everyone's mind. Thankfully it was downgraded from a category 5 to a category 2. Still a very dangerous situation. Let's hope it weakens even further and everyone is safe.

In other news, Weekly Jobless Claims, came in better than expected at 204,000. Analysts noted it was the 'second straight 50-year low' for new claims. Same for the 4-week average -- the 'second straight 50-year low.' Wow!

We also got a better than expected Consumer Price Index which showed a m/m change of 0.2% vs. views for 0.3%. On a y/y basis, it came it at 2.7% vs. last month's snapshot of 2.9%, and the consensus for 2.8%. Excluding food and energy, it was only 2.2%. That eased inflation concerns, which in turn eased rate hike concerns and lifted stocks.

Granted, two more hikes are still expected. But the more subdued readings show there's no need to accelerate the pace beyond what has already been forecast.

Today we'll get Retail Sales, Import and Export Prices, Industrial Production, Business Inventories, and Consumer Sentiment.

Should be a busy day. And good chance it's another up day.

Best,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research

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