March 2, 2017
The day's economic news is light but is once again led by low levels of jobless claims that are pointing to strong demand for labor. Initial claims came in at 223,000 in the latest week for a new cycle low, in fact a new low going back to the early 1970s. If this strength pans out in next week's employment report for February, a rate hike at this month's FOMC meeting would appear very likely.
Stocks backed off after yesterday's sharp climbs with the Dow losing 0.5 percent to 21,002. Interest rates inched higher with the 10-year at 2.49 percent. The dollar index rose 0.4 percent to 102.13 while gold slipped $1 and is back near $52.50.