Earnings continue to be the main driver of the market. Ford posted better than expected earnings though their numbers are slightly inflated by debt restructuring. 3M and AT&T also beat estimates. Meanwhile, UPS' earnings were in line with estimates but the stock fell due to a sour outlook by the company for the rest of the year.
In breaking news, jobless claims rose off recent lows to 554,000 though that number is distorted by a plethora of auto plant closures.
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week from a six- month low as distortions, caused by shifts in the timing of auto plant shutdowns, subsided.Applications rose by 30,000 to 554,000 in the week ended July 18, in line with forecasts, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Claims had fallen by 93,000 over the previous two weeks.
The number of people collecting unemployment insurance decreased to the lowest level in three months, also reflecting seasonal issues surrounding closures at carmakers.
“The level of initial claims is still consistent with deep job losses but smaller than we saw in the first months of this year,” Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, said before the report.
The markets in the Far East were mostly up. The Hang Seng in China was up 2.96%, the NIKKEI in Japan was up .72%, and the Straits Time Index in Singapore was up 1.39%. Europe was much more mixed. The FTSE in London and the DAX in Germany were both down just slightly at down .08% while the Spanish index was up .81%.
Treasury bonds are slightly improved today. The ten year is trading at 3.54% trading down just a bit less than one basis point. (one percent) The yield spread between the 2 year and ten year continues to be right at 2.6%. Oil is trading slightly down today but is still above $65 a barrel where it crossed at the end of the day yesterday.
The U.S. dollar looks to open generally better. It is up .21% against the Euro, up .15% against the British Pound, and up .85% against the Yen.
Everything in this space should be taken as information only. All opinions are my own only and should NOT be taken as an endorsement or investment strategy. I am not a licensed investment advisor and nothing here should be taken as investment advice.