The 17k U.S. initial claims surge to 268k
The 17k U.S. initial claims surge to 268k in the week of Thanksgiving extended the 18k bounce to 251k from a 43-year low of 233k in the BLS survey week, which also included the Veteran's Day holiday. Despite the hefty two-week rise, claims remain remarkably tight on average in November despite the start of holiday volatility that should extend through the MLK weekend in January. Claims are averaging just 251k thus far in November, versus higher prior averages of 257k in October, 254k in September, 262k in August and 260k in July. The 233k BLS survey week reading lies well below recent BLS readings of 261k in October, 251k in September, 262k in August, and 252k in July. Analysts still expect a 190k November nonfarm payroll rise, with upside risk from tight claims, a factory boost from rising oil prices and a diminishing inventory headwind that are combining to lift producer sentiment. Analysts also have a surging stock market, rising consumer confidence, and mild weather, as discussed in Monday's commentary.