In this morning’s data, Initial Jobless Claims were 199,000 for the week ending on 11/20, much lower than expected and could be impacted some by holidays, but it is below 200k for the first time since before the pandemic. Continuing Claims were 2,049,000 for the week ending 11/13, a bit higher than expected. Meanwhile, the second reading on GDP for the third quarter came in at 2.1%, which is one tenth higher than the previous reading. Overall, the labor market continues its healing process as initial claims are well below the 300k level seen by most as appropriate for a healthy labor market. However, continuing claims remain above the 1.7M level seen prior to the pandemic and the debate over possible COVID shot mandates could cause additional uncertainty in the labor market in the weeks ahead. While economic growth slowed in the third quarter amidst supply chain issues and the spread of the Delta variant, the current quarter could show a rebound as those concerns abate and companies rebuild inventories, as Wal-Mart discussed on their recent earnings call. Amidst inflation concerns, the propensity and ability of consumers to continue spending will be key for the economy in the months ahead. In all, the 10-year US treasury yield ticks slightly higher and equity futures are lower as we head into the market open. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
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