Peter Bockvar sums up this morning's negative jobless claims surprise , which pushed the four-week moving average higher for the second straight week. It's not a happy note: "Bottom line, the labor market data in terms of hiring is still very cloudy and the pace of firings has stopped getting better."
James Picerno echoes that thought and says the longer-term trend of falling claims is still intact — "gravity still has the upper hand " — but "the hour is late" for a meaningful reversal of the broader jobs picture.
It’s clear that much of the “progress” we’ve seen in the job market so far has been a function of sidestepping economic apocalypse. In other words, the negative momentum of shedding jobs has slowed over the past year, arguably to the point that employment is now simply treading water rather than sinking.