So the employment data is fresh off the presses, and it is interesting reading that makes for some decent room for interpretation.
The weekly data wasn’t anything away from expectations, but the continuing unemployment clams came in at 2.51 million, vs expectations of 2.35 million! This most likely indicates that the workforce in the US is expanding and that more people are looking for work, but it is relatively difficult to reconcile a 150 000 people jump without any strong signals coming in from the weekly unemployment claims. I’d be really interested in seeing some interpretations on this when the wire news have been digested and analyzed further.
Retail sales however were much, much better than expected, at 0.7% MoM (exp. of o,4%) and 0.5% ex-auto (vs. 0.1% forecast). Retailing is going strong in the US, even though it seems like Black Friday and Cyber Monday were somewhat of a set of duds this year. Import prices were (naturally) down, by 1.5% while expectations were for a 1.8% drop, but the monthly trade balance made up for this by coming in at a 1% deficit, vs a 0.5% estimate.
All of these events have sent equity indices/futures higher, in tandem with the general risk-on indicator in the US dollar index. Things do look set to really ignite on the markets once the opening bell rings in New York, given a generally stronger dollar now than in Asian trading hours, and further falls in oil (WTI is testing $60 a barrel!) and precious metals to go along with this. I do think that this will also be a major feature of tomorrow’s Asian trade, possibly rivaled by the Chinese urban investment / retail sales / industrial output coming out at 13:30 CST (GMT+8).
I do believe that this data for November will be rather good. Animal spirits are in the game again, and although CPI was rather bad, input prices in renminbi yuan have fallen a lot, so the expectation would be that this shows up somewhere and I do think that the lowered expectations from the market on this data could mean that any positive beat will see another massive turnover day on the Shanghai Composite.