Announced this morning, Initial Jobless Claims were 900,000 for the week ending January 16th, and Continuing Claims were 5,054,000 for the week ending January 9th. Both were decreases from the previous week, but levels remain elevated. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced no changes to near zero interest rates or to their 1.85 trillion Euro stimulus plan announced in December, as social restrictions and lockdowns are being extended in many countries in the region. Overall, the labor market in the U.S. remains under stress and Europe continues with monetary accommodation. The virus spread and containment measures in both the U.S. and Europe are driving their economies at the moment, placing urgency on the vaccination process. The sooner herd immunity can be achieved with individuals returning to normal activities, the better, especially for many of the hardest hit areas of the economy. In all, bond yields remain slightly higher and equity futures are also higher as we head into the market open.
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