Claims data mixed; Durables up; Fed to fight the market more?
Initial jobless claims dipped to 623,000 from an upwardly revised 636,000 in the prior week. But continuing claims continue to ramp up. They climbed to a fresh record of 6.788 million from 6.678 million in the prior week.
Lastly, there's some speculation out there today that the Federal Reserve may step up its purchases in the mortgage and Treasury markets. But is fighting the market even more really the right strategy? I don't think so. The market is SCREAMING that this quantitative easing policy is gutting the U.S. dollar and fueling concerns about longer-term inflation risk. The long bond futures have plunged a whopping 26 points in price since mid-December. Yet Helicopter Ben is apparently digging in his heels. Does anyone in Washington get it?