Weekly Jobless and Claims and Retail Sales Look Weak

Stock Split ImageThursday brought two economic reports. First was the weekly jobless claims, followed by January retail sales. Oddly enough, weather was not really cited for any weakness. Stocks were already weak, and they have drifted a bit lower since the reports.

The U.S. Labor Department is out with its weekly jobless claims, and the news is that claims rose by 8,000 to 339,000. Bloomberg and Dow Jones were calling for 330,000, and the range of estimates from economists at Bloomberg was 325,000 to 336,000. Last week's reading was unrevised at 331,000.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending January 25 was 3,524,188, an increase of 57,339 from the previous week. There were 5,918,175 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013. No state was triggered "on" the extended benefits program during the week ending January 25.

January retail sales came to $427.8 billion, or -0.4%, versus the Bloomberg estimate of -0.1%. The Commerce Department showed that on an ex-auto basis, that figure was 0.0%, versus the Bloomberg consensus of +0.1%.

The takeaway is that both numbers were a tad weaker than expected. The other take is that neither should have been weak enough to make too much of a market ripple — yet shares slid after the reports. S&P futures were down 10 points and DJIA futures were down just over 80 points. Both have been weak all morning.

Filed under: Economy

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The economy and jobs today are like the feudal system. Visions of grandeur seem drive the 1%.

February 18 2014 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Might be worth paying people not in the labor force and the unemployed just to keep the economy going while you figure out how to get everyone employed.

February 18 2014 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Any one notice the more workers are eliminated from jobs it artificially increases productivity as fewer workers struggle with an increase work load for fewer hours and dollars while the already cheaply made imported goods save the corporations trillions of dollars.

February 18 2014 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't you know retail is the new sweat shops that have to compete with the off shored manufacturing jobs in textiles and other consumer products. They get a goal set then use it to force out all the older people! If you can't compete with a machine as well as John Henry did your out of a job. And by the way it was a descndant of my family tree that is responsible for the inspirationional song John Henry was a steel driving man. CSA Brigadier General Williams Carter W... ran a railroad that had used prison labor. One of the workers supposedly named John Henry died trying to beat a machine driving spikes.

February 18 2014 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frontier Neighbor

This will keep happening until money is put back in to the hands of the middle class.

February 18 2014 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Frontier Neighbor's comment

Speaking the truth like that will just have you black listed and viewed as negative by those that make their money ripping off the 99%.

February 18 2014 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply