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Jobless Claims Steady at 230K Ahead of Friday's BLS Report

Thursday, May 2, 2019

New Initial Jobless Claims were released ahead of Thursday’s opening bell, sandwiched this week between major national employment figures yesterday — with ADP’s private-sector payrolls — and tomorrow’s non-farm payroll report from the U.S. government. Last week, we saw a total of 230K new jobless claims, exactly in line with the previous week’s unrevised number.

Weekly jobless claims had been bouncing around in recent weeks — back down to late-summer lows and below, actually pushing through the 200K floor temporarily for the first time since the “rock opera” was invented (ask your parents) — while also largely avoiding the long-term 200-225K very low range our domestic labor market had been enjoying going back a couple years. The past two weeks — and a growing share of year-to-date weekly claims — have posted 225+ headline results.

Continuing Claims rose only slightly, from 1.654 million previously to 1.67 million in this morning’s read. These numbers remain near those 50-year lows we’d been seeing with initial claims, and remain insistent that the U.S. employment situation remains in robust territory.

We’ll find out more tomorrow morning, when we see the new non-farm payroll numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released, along with a fresh Unemployment Rate. Estimates are for around 178K new jobs gained in the month of April, following March’s headline 196K. Private-sector payrolls reported by ADP ADP yesterday notched much higher, to 275K monthly job gains. The Unemployment Rate has been steady at 3.8% the past two months.

Tesla Shares Up on New Capital News

Shares of premier electric car maker Tesla TSLA are up 5% in this morning’s pre-market, following new reports that the company looks to raise $2.3 billion in gross proceeds. CEO Elon Musk looks to purchase nearly 42K shares for $10 million. This is joined by a mixed-shelf offering for an undisclosed amount.

The capital raise would be a blessing or a curse, depending on your view of Tesla: a big influx of capital would allow the company’s plans to continue or accelerate, such as the new gigafactory being built in China. Whereas those bearish on the Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock would see this as a tacit admission that the company’s auto business cannot earn what it needs on its own.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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