Market Overview

Happy Holidays – Here Comes the Jobless Data


Thursday morning saw investors searching through the GDP data for signs of an economic recovery like a child on an egg hunt (sorry, wrong holiday). If you would like to be alerted to GDP updates as they come out in real-time, signup for a free trial of Benzinga Pro's premium news service.

According to Reuters, final U.S. third-quarter GDP date was in the spotlight, “with economists in a Reuters survey forecasting a 2.0 percent annualized pace of growth, a repeat of the preliminary estimate.”

"I don't think anybody is expecting a (GDP) revision so if we get more information either up or down that will be something interesting to watch for," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

The data saw the number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits falling. According to TheStreet, “Initial jobless claims dropped 4,000 to 364,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week ended Dec. 17 from a revised 368,000 in the previous week.”

The four-week moving average dropped by a full 8,000 to 380,250 from the revised average the week prior of 388,250.

David Semmens, economist with Standard Chartered Bank, was quoted on TheStreet as saying, “This continues to reinforce our opinion that the labor market is on the mend, but there is still a significant pick up in hiring needed to make any dent in the unemployment rate," he wrote in a note. "We continue to expect labor demand to stay around the level to keep unemployment relatively constant, [around 150,000 new jobs per month during 2012,] but there is still plenty of scope for upgrading those working part-time closer to full time."

Posted-In: News Economics Best of Benzinga


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