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Unemployment claims are expected to fall 10,000 to 378,000 for the period ending April 28th. The 4-week average is 383,000 and likely to rise as a 367,000 rolls off the calculation. Seasonal factors will be supportive to the level of unemployment claims. The seasonal factor for the reporting week is 0.906 and will wind its way down to 0.853 for the period ending June 2nd. As a refresher, the non-seasonally adjusted number is divided by the seasonal factor in order to calculate the seasonally adjusted claims number. The trend in the seasonal adjustment factor is opposite to the trend in January when the seasonal factor was as high as 1.652 and pressured claims.
The equity market has been sensitive to the trend in unemployment claims in recent weeks and the recent rise in claims has worked to cap the rally. Notice the rally in stocks stopped when unemployment claims reversed their downtrend.
The June S&P 500 contract has been able to hold above the 4/25 of 1387.75 in recent days. The May 1st high of 1411.75 could be a short term obstacle into Friday’s payroll report.
*Disclaimer: The information in the Market Commentaries was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed therein constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any futures or options contracts.