Thursday Morning Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories Moving Markets
It’s Thursday, October 31 — happy Halloween! As expected, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced no change to its asset purchase program at the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. As per previous guidance, the Fed will “closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments in coming months and will continue its purchases of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate, until the outlook for the labor market has improved substantially in a context of price stability.”
Exactly what that means, the markets have learned, is a bit nebulous. Payroll growth of 148,000 in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and of 130,000 in October, according to ADP, clearly isn’t enough. Headline unemployment still sits at 7.2 percent, while labor force participation continues to fall.
Adding to the pool of labor market data are Thursday’s initial unemployment claims numbers. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that unemployment insurance claims fell 10,000 for the week ended October 26 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000. The four-week moving average edged up 8,000, to 356,250. Several states reported fewer layoffs in the manufacturing and construction industries, which ADP showed had fairly strong job growth in October.
At 8:35 a.m., Dow futures were off 0.03 percent, S&P 500 futures were off 0.03 percent, and Nasdaq futures were off 0.38 percent.