Stocks Mixed Despite Better-Than-Expected Initial Jobless Claims Report

by Warrior2

Initial Jobless Claims Decline To 712,000

The U.S. has just released Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports.

Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 712,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week. Analysts estimated that Initial Jobless Claims would total 775,000 so the report was much better than expected.Advertisement

Meanwhile, Continuing Jobless Claims declined from 6.1 million to 5.5 million compared to analyst consensus of 5.9 million.

On Wednesday, ADP Employment Change report indicated that private businesses added 307,000 jobs in November while analysts expected that job growth would exceed 400,000. In this light, the decline in Initial Jobless Claims is somewhat surprising.

Tomorrow, traders will focus on the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Non Farm Payrolls are projected to decline from 638,000 in October to 469,000 in November while Unemployment Rate is expected to decrease from 6.9% to 6.8%.

S&P 500 futures lack direction in premarket trading as investors remain cautious despite the release of better-than-expected employment reports.Advertisement

All Eyes On Services PMI Report

Today, the U.S. will also release the final reading of Services PMI report for November. Services PMI is expected to grow from 56.3 in October to 57.9 in November.

Services PMI reports which were released in other countries indicated that there was a reason for cautious optimism. Euro Area Services PMI decreased from 46.9 to 41.7 but remained above the analyst consensus of 41.3.

It looks like the actual situation in the services segment was a bit better in the second half of the month. In UK, Services PMI declined from 51.4 to 47.6 compared to analyst consensus of 45.8.

Also, Euro Area Retail Sales grew by 1.5% month-over-month compared to analyst forecast which called for growth of 0.8%. Retail Sales were higher than analyst estimates because strong online sales offset the weakness in traditional sales. Most likely, we’ll see the same trend in other parts of the world, including the U.S.

OPEC+ Moves Closer To A Consensus Deal

Today, OPEC+ resumed talks about the group’s supply policy in 2021. Earlier, OPEC+ was expected to extend current production cuts for the first three months of 2021, but the recent rally pushed some producers to argue for a production increase in January.

Recent reports indicate that OPEC+ members are moving closer to a consensus deal. The new deal is expected to imply a gradual increase in oil production, but its details are yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, WTI oil prices remain stuck near the $45 level. OPEC+ decision will likely have a major impact on the oil market in the near term, so investors should keep a close eye on any news that comes from OPEC+ today.

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