The Washington drama continues to steal the limelight from
everything else, even as this morning's jobs and economic growth
data broadly came in positive. Hard to envision the market
clearly breaking out in either direction in the absence of the
budget and debt-ceiling debates concluding.
This morning's economic data is broadly positive, with weekly
Jobless Claims coming in better than expected and the final look
at Q2 GDP remaining unchanged. Jobless Claims dropped 5K to 305K
from the prior week's revised 310K level. The 4-week average,
which smooths out the reading's week-to-week volatility, dropped
7K to 308K.
We will get a better sense of the health of the labor market
in next week's September non-farm payroll report. But the recent
levels of initial Jobless Claims data would be consistent with
strong gains in the coming Friday's jobs report. The GDP read was
modestly negative, as the expectation was for the growth pace to
be revised higher, but it came instead unchanged at 2.5%.
On the earnings front, we will get reports from
) after the close today. We got a scare Wednesday from the
) news, but it's unclear at this stage whether it's a
company-specific issue or something relevant to the broader
In other earnings reports,
) came out ahead of EPS and revenue expectations, but guided
lower. Results from
Bed, Bath & Beyond
) were all around strong, with positive surprises on earnings,
revenues and guidance.
It is perhaps reasonable to assume that the Congressional
battle will eventually get resolved. But the path to that
end-point will likely be anything but reassuring.
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