The Daily Difference: Market Update February 13, 2014

Jobless Claims:  Jobless claims came in at 339k vs. the consensus 330k. No revisions to last week’s numbers. This report underwhelmed slightly, but this may be attributed to the weather conditions on the East coast. The four-week moving average has stayed in roughly the same range, although the new claims component has dropped while the continuing claims component has increased, indicating weak environment for hiring. Keep a close eye on this number...I know Yellen is. Retail Sales:  This number came in at -0.4% vs. the consensus of -0.1%. Furthermore, last month’s number was revised down from 0.2% to -0.1%. The number isn’t as bad as it looks: without autos (a volatile component), sales were flat, although the strongest component was gasoline. Excluding autos AND gas, the number was down 0.2%. The weakness in these number can also likely be partially attributed to weather (who goes to a car dealership in a blizzard?).

Both numbers were weak and likely point to a downward revision in Q4 GDP. Is this enough for a taper pause? Probably not.

BlogJames O'Brien