In the US today, initial jobless claims came in at 304k. The estimate was for a rise to 315K. The prior week was revised slightly up to 302K from 300K.
At 10 AM ET the Philly Fed index also came in better at 16.6 versus expectations of 10.0. Last month, the index came in at 9.0. The employment and new orders components both were better this month.
The other data this week in the US came in mixed. Retail sales were better on Monday. The headline retail sales number rose by 1.1%, while ex-auto show to gain of 0.7%.
CPI, although higher-than-expected at 0.2% versus expectations of 0.1 and year on year at 1.5% versus expectations of 1.4%, is still relatively low.
Weekly mortgage applications, helped by lower interest rates, rose by 4.3% . Housing starts and building permits were slightly less than expectations, but industrial production and capacity utilization were both better in March.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen is still concerned about the pace of employment and low inflation . However, with the initial claims at lowest level since 2007. It seems that job growth is picking up. Inflation, or lack of it, remains still a concern. however. She acknowledged that the slack in the labor market is keeping wages down with little sign of any pickup. Overall the feeling a Wall Street is that Fed Chair Janet Yellen remains flexible and will respond according to the economic data.
In Japan tonight the tertiary industry index will released for February with expectations of a 0.2% gain versus 0.9% gain in January. There are no economic releases scheduled in Europe has most countries will be off in observance of Good Friday. US stock markets in the US bond market will also be closed tomorrow.
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