The trend that was so many momentum-chasing bulls friend for so long has ended. The steady downward drift in jobless claims – all noise, debt-ceiling, winter storm, and software glitches aside – has ended. Initial claims rose 19k this week, missed expectations by the most in 6 weeks, and jumped to the same levels seen 6 months ago. The Labor Department says “nothing unusual” about this week’s data but noted one state ‘estimated’ claims last week. Total benefit rolls dropped by 16k this week (back under 3 million) as emergency claimants remains “0”.
For those of the “seasonals are to blame” persuasion… this is the worst start to the year since the financial crisis…