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While today's report of initial jobless claims was slightly higher than expected (336K vs 335K), the slim margin of just 1K makes things pretty much a wash. Even though the report was inline with expectations, it is nice to see the trend resume its downward course from the spike seen following the government shutdown.

This week also marked the first time in four weeks that the four-week moving average of jobless claims declined, falling from 357.5K down to 348.3K. At current levels, though, this indicator needs to fall another 43.3K to take out its post-recession low of 305K from 9/27.

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On a non-seasonally adjusted (NYSE:NSA) basis, claims rose from 322.9K up to 327.1K. For the current week of the year, this is the lowest reading since 2007, and it remains well below the average (378.2K) for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.

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