Weekly Jobless Claims and Q1 GDP Both Disappoint


Investors have two economic reports to chew over so far on Thursday morning. The Commerce Department issued a revision to first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figure. We also got to see the report from the Labor Department on weekly jobless claims. Stock futures are still positive, although the reports are not acting to bolster the markets further.

The U.S. Labor Department has released its usual report on weekly jobless claims. Unfortunately the number grew again and the prior week's preliminary report was revised higher. Claims were up 10,000 to 354,000 in the last week ahead of the holiday, versus a consensus estimate of 340,000 from both Dow Jones and Bloomberg. Last week's preliminary 340,000 claims were revised up to 344,000.

Today's weekly claims report also showed that the continuing claims rose by 6,750 to 347,250. We closely watch the continuing claims, which is reported with a one-week lag and is what we consider as the army of unemployed. It came in up by 63,000 to 2,986,000.

The Commerce Department shared its first revision to the first-quarter GDP in America, and this came in at growth of only 2.4%. Bloomberg had a consensus estimate of 2.5%, and the preliminary report was also at 2.5%. If you use the price index, this was revised lower to 1.1%, under the 1.2% previously reported and also under the 1.2% consensus reading from Goldman Sachs.

The weekly claims number was a move in the wrong direction. GDP was also a bit of a disappointment. All in all, neither number is really large enough to move the needle one way or the other. The only caveat is that investors may use whatever excuse they can find to take profits now that the stock market has kept putting in new highs.

If you want a read more on the move on interest rates, here is our own "how-to guide" on the big short in the Treasury market.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy