Jobless Claims Come in Lower

After yesterday’s eventful trading day, this Thursday morning feels pretty quiet. Aside from NVIDIA NVDA shares, that is — following yesterday afternoon’s high-quality beat-and-raise Q4 earnings report, shares of the graphic-chip major are up another +12%, adding to the +40% gained year to date and +225% from one year ago. In fact, NVIDIA is now trading 5x higher than its October 2022 lows — if you are still looking for a single stat why this company is so important to Wall Street, this might be it.

Pre-market futures are currently taking the cue, as well: the Nasdaq, led by NVIDIA, is up +360 points at this hour. Even the Dow, which is not reasonably represented by NVIDIA’s success, is +200 points so far this pre-market. The S&P 500 is trading right now +68 points from where it was as of yesterday’s closing bell. Perhaps a relative dearth of new investment data this morning is allowing these numbers to swell a bit, but the market appears to have regained its footing.

One news item that is out ahead of today’s open are new Weekly Jobless Claims, which continue to come in impressively under where those fretting about domestic employment have been expecting them: Initial Jobless Claims last week dropped back down to 201K, the lowest we’ve seen in the past month, and the closest we’ve been to sub-200K since the third week in January. Over the past year, we had been averaging around 230K new jobless claims; so far in 2024, that number is down to around 210K.

Continuing Claims, where we’d seen most of the trepidation regarding the labor market since last fall, are also coming in lower that analysts’ expectations: 1.862 million is lower than the downwardly revised 1.889 million the previous week, which itself had been the highest print of the year so far, prior to the revision. From last September levels around 1.66 million, we looked to be on a trajectory toward 1.9 million and beyond; in truth, since early November, we’ve only gone above 1.9 million in one recorded week.

Reporting earnings after the bell today will be less momentous than yesterday, but we do look toward results from Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated FinTech major Block SQ. The company, co-founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, expects to have earned +163% per share on its bottom line, +22% on revenues year over year. OK, so maybe those aren’t NVIDIA numbers, but they’re still not too shabby.

This morning, Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell)-rated Newmont Mining NEM reported a one-cent miss on earnings in Q4, but on revenues that beat the Zacks consensus by nearly +25%. The stock has been wallowing down -19% since the start of the year (while everyone was piling into NVIDIA stock) and -24% year over year. But acquisitions made over the past couple years may be starting to bear fruit; we’ll see if the company’s Zacks rank improves from here.

Finally, after today’s open will bring us S&P PMI for both Manufacturing and Services in February, both of which are expected to come in above 50, which marks the point between growth and contraction. Also Existing Home Sales numbers for January are expected to be up from the previous month. This would correlate with recent confidence among homebuilders as the industry looks toward the more productive spring and summer months.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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