Financial Professionals

Market Insights

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Initial Jobless Claims

08/25/2010

1. Initial Jobless Claims fell 31,000 to 473,000
2. The critical 4 week moving average rose from 483,500 to 486,750, once again the highest level since November 2009
3. The August 19 report was revised higher from 500,000 to 504,000
4. The unemployment rate for people eligible for benefits fell to 3.5% from a revised higher 3.6%

The Street was expecting a decline to 490,000 to 495,000

The report provides a mild surprise relative to the recent negative housing data. However, tomorrow's second quarter GDP, Jackson Hole symposium, and next week's critical ISM, China PMI, and U.S. jobs reports may keep money managers from aggressively acquiring risk assets.

I encourage investors to focus on the strength of corporate balance sheets and earnings. Evidence to that point is the news this morning that Dell has leapfrogged Hewlett Packard with a $24.50 per share offer for 3Par. Business confidence on display in a capital markets environment recently void of confidence.

Virtus Investment Partners provides this communication as a matter of general information. The opinions stated herein are those of the author and not necessarily the opinions of Virtus, its affiliates or its subadvisers. Portfolio managers at Virtus make investment decisions in accordance with specific client guidelines and restrictions. As a result, client accounts may differ in strategy and composition from the information presented herein. Any facts and statistics quoted are from sources believed to be reliable, but they may be incomplete or condensed and we do not guarantee their accuracy. This communication is not an offer or solicitation to purchase or sell any security, and it is not a research report. Individuals should consult with a qualified financial professional before making any investment decisions.