Weekly Jobless Claims Rise – Influenced by Hurricanes

The number of unemployment benefit filings exceeded expectations last week rising by 12K to a seasonally adjusted 272K. Last week’s increase pushed the 4-week moving average to 277K, a high not seen since early 2016. According to the Labor Department, hurricane’s Harvey & Irma were the main culprit for the bump in claims.

It’s expected claims will continue to spike in the weeks ahead due to the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by hurricane Maria. While the storms will undoubtedly impact September and October’s monthly employment reports, the U.S. labor market still remains strong with claims remaining under the 300K benchmark.

The Futures Index markets met the report with an early morning sell-off. However, the E-Mini S&P (ES) along with the E-Mini Dow (YM) quickly regained footing into bullish territory. E-Mini NASDAQ (NQ) futures is a little slower to recover, trading just below the open at the time of writing.

Emini Index Futures Chart

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