Initial Jobless Claims Meet Expectations At 420K, Continue Slow Improvement

The number: 420K, with last week’s revised upward to 423K from 421K.

This is a good report, if nothing to write home about. A three thousand drop for this week could start cutting into the unemployment rate.

U.S. index futures point to a slightly higher opening.

Background: Analysts were looking for 420K, a slight improvement from last week’s 421K. This would mean hiring is stuck at a dismal pace, but it is improving. Claims have been dropping slowly for two months. We’re still looking for a raft of good data to counter last month’s terrible jobs report.

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