Initial Jobless Claims
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.