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Ahead of Wall Street

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ahead of the big Thanksgiving weekend rush, we receive some new data points for the week; both Durable Goods Orders and Initial Jobless Claims were reported, and have had rather odd, immediate effects on the market ahead of the bell. (Today is a full-length market day, by the way. Tomorrow the indices are closed and they close early on Friday.)

Durable Goods rose 4.8% in the month of October, much higher than the 1.7% expected. The previous month’s -0.3% was revised up to +0.4%. Strip out costs from Defense expenditures — Boeing (BA - Free Report) aircraft sales, etc. — and that number rises to 5.2%. Ex-Transportation reached 1.0%.

Translation: more refrigerators and washing machines appear to have been sold in Q3 this year. Keeping in mind these numbers are bouncing up from an historically low base, nevertheless, the traction we’d been looking for in the U.S. economy looks to have finally taken hold in the past few months.

Initial Jobless Claims rose 18K to 251K in the past week. This is a big jump higher, but from an extremely low (revised) 233K from the previous week. Continuing claims ticked back up north of the 2 million mark to 2.04 million from 1.98 million, but these are again off historically low numbers. “Full employment” does not abate.

Interestingly, market futures had been slightly up ahead of these economic figures and they all went negative following the results. The 10-year continued higher, however — from 2.34% to 2.357% — roughly 100 basis points higher than the yield was back in July. The Trump Rotation remains in effect, and a December Fed rate hike looks baked into the pumpkin pie.

Speaking of Thanksgiving Day dinner, its cost overall has fallen to under $50 per 10 people. Last year’s nasty bird flu gads caused turkey prices to rise, but this year most everything is costing your Thanksgiving feast host less this year. Something else to be thankful for.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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