Ahead of today’s opening bell, new Initial Jobless Claims have come out, with another better-than-expected headline result of 211K new claims last week. This marks a drop of 8000 claims week over week from a slightly upwardly revised 219K the previous week.
Both figures remain in the very comfortable 200-225K range we’ve enjoyed for almost all of this historic peak U.S. labor market. In fact, not only have we been experiencing near-50-year-lows (about as long as this jobless claims index has been in existence, by the way), we’ve been sustaining them for longer than ever before registered — roughly since the start of calendar 2018, aside from a couple weeks breaking out past the highs and one prominently beneath the lows.
Continuing Claims were also very comfortable for two weeks ago, coming out at 1.689 million, down from the 1.692 million the previous week. Relative to the employee population, this is also among all-time low levels. As we have seen, for the most part, over monthly non-farm payroll totals, employment in the U.S. is one of the strongest elements of our decade-long bull market.
Reporting fiscal Q2 2020 earnings for Ralph Lauren (RL - Free Report) also were released this morning, beating estimates on both top and bottom lines and year-ago tallies, as well. Earnings of $2.55 per share outperformed the $2.39 per share expected and the $2.26 we saw in the same quarter for fiscal 2019. Sales of $1.71 billion topped expectations by 1.07%, and bettered the year-ago $1.69 billion reported.
As many retailers had been feeling the pain due to the collapse of shopping malls and the onset of e-commerce generating huge headwinds, Ralph Lauren stock has notably lagged the S&P 500 year to date, up only 2.5% as of yesterday’s close. This morning, the stock is making up for lost time — up 11.65% at this hour. For more on RL’s earnings, click here.