Markets In Europe Are In The Red

Germany bourse stock tradersREUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachTwo traders talk with each other on the floor of the German bourse in Frankfurt on July 21, 1997.

Markets are down slightly early in the European trading session.

Britain’s FTSE is down 0.4%.

France’s CAC 40 is down 0.2%.

Germany’s DAX is down 0.2%.

Spain’s IBEX is down 0.3%.

Later today, we’ll get the final Q4 estimate of Q4 US GDP. Economists estimate that the economy grew at a 2.7% rate driven by 2.7% growth in personal consumption.

As the GDP report is released at 8:30, we’ll also get the latest weekly tally of initial unemployment claims. Economists estimate claims ticked up to 323,000 from 320,000 a week ago.

“Jobless claims have trended lower over the past few weeks and hint of a snap-back in hiring,” noted Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna.”The 4-week moving average on claims for March 15, which corresponds to the employment survey period, fell -4k to 327k. This is a new post-recession low if we exclude the artificial drop last September which was due to a backlog in the processing of claims in California — the result of a changeover in computer systems. If inclement weather dampened hiring over the past few months, then jobless claims should trend lower, and they have.”

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