In this morning’s data, Initial Jobless Claims were 547,000 for the week ending April 17th, decrease of 39k from the previous week’s revised level. Continuing Claims were 3,674,000 for the week ending April 10th, slightly above expectations, but a decrease from the previous week. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced this morning no changes to their accommodative policy, leaving interest rates unchanged and net asset purchases in place until inflation robustly returns to their targets. They do expect inflationary pressures to temporarily rise in the near term, citing energy prices and idiosyncratic factors that they indicate should fade in the months ahead. Overall, a positive trend in initial claims for the past two weeks, bringing them to the lowest level since March 2020, before the impacts of the pandemic. This is a welcomed event for the labor market, which is still not back to pre-pandemic levels, but its improvement is integral to a stronger economy in the months ahead. Whether inflationary pressures are temporary or may prove longer lasting will be closely watched the central banks as we move through the re-opening process. In all, bond yields ticked lower following this morning’s data and equity futures are slightly lower as we head into the market open.
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