The election was the big event this week, and it happened to be a light week for economic releases.
Non-Manufacturing ISM was a bit weaker than expected at 54.2 in October versus an expected 54.5. Some parts of the report were weak, such as forward-looking new orders and business activity, but employment strengthened. The ISM mentioned that Hurricane Sandy had no large impact on the Oct. report, but will end up affecting the Nov. figures. Stay tuned.
Initial jobless claims came in at 355k for the Nov. 3 ending week, which was a drop of 8k on the previous week and below the forecasted 365k figure. Continuing claims for the Oct. 27 week ended at 3,127k, which was below the forecasted 3,257k figure by a fair amount. In regard to the Hurricane Sandy effect, the DOL mentioned that the effect was mixed to some extent—power outages may have suppressed claims in some areas, while it may have bumped claims in others. We’ll likely see more accurate and more complete numbers in coming weeks as the damage estimates become clearer and clean-up efforts help get electrical grids and other resources back to normal. Read more