Wow.  Weekly jobless claims - after spiking to over 480K the past two weeks - have hit 500K for the first time since roughly November 2009.  In Wall Street talk that is a second derivate non-improvement!  In the old days when the Fed was not manipulating almost every market with price distortions this would be something to worry about as weekly jobless claims are an excellent early indicator of future stock market movements.  [Jun 17, 2010: Weekly Jobless Claims as Stock Market Indicator]   

Now?  Nothing to see here - move along; the 'summer of (Canadian) recovery' continues on track.   Remember, less workers = more profits for corporates & more easy money for us all as the Fed gets more desperate and bewildered..  All part of the master plan to reach nirvana where no one in America needs to work, freeing us to shop 24 hours while the Fed does QE #78 thru #93.   We'll let the Canadians, Australians, Chinese, Brazilians, and Indians do the work.  In return for their services and products, we will hand out super cool U.S Treasuries.  Buy stocks.

  • Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly increased last week to the highest level since November, showing companies are stepping up the pace of firings as the economy slows.  Initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 500,000 in the week ended Aug. 14, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.
  • The government revised the prior week’s claims figure to 488,000 from a previously reported 484,000. Initial filings last week were the highest since the week ended Nov. 14, 2009.

  • There were no special factors influencing last week’s data, a Labor Department spokesman told reporters as the figures were being released. Claims have increased in four of the last five weeks.

(remember if any bear confronts you with this data yell at him/her jobs are a lagging indicator... we've been using this rationale excuse for a good 18 months, and I'm sure we can keep repeating it until blue in the face for the next 18)