Jobless claims continue to hold at historically low levels, at 274,000 in the August 8 week. The 4-week average is down 1,750 to 266,250 and is nearly 15,000 below the month-ago comparison in what is a positive indication for the August employment report
Continuing claims, which are reported with a week’s lag, rose 15,000 in data for the August 1 week to 2.273 million. The 4-week average is up 14,000 to a 2.254 million level that is about 10,000 lower than the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured employees is unchanged at a very low 1.7 percent.
Boosted by vehicles, retail sales proved strong in July and, with upward revisions, surprisingly solid in the two months of May and June. Vehicles and restaurants both showed strong July gains which points to an upbeat consumer. The day’s other data included business inventories which, due to a rise for vehicles, rose in June and together with the upward revisions to retail sales gave a boost to revision estimates for second-quarter GDP.
The EUR/USD pair trades lower in the European morning, having reached a daily high of 1.1171 on news that Greece’s Parliament has accepted the terms for a third bailout deal. I see all majors heading into a range over summer. Today we have Euro-Zone’s 2Q Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report may boost the appeal of the single currency and spur fresh monthly highs in EUR/USD as the growth rate is expected to increase 1.3% following the 1.0% expansion during the first three-months of 2015