THE BASIS POINT

Fundamentals 6/9: Jobless Claims Up, ECB Rate Hike?

Initial Jobless Claims
– 427,000 for week ended June 4, up 1,000 from previous week.
– 4-week moving average 424,000, down 2,750 from the previous week.
– These data indicate a continually weak jobs market.

European Central Bank President Jean Claude Trichet indicated that the ECB would raise rates next month to contain inflation.

April U.S. Trade Deficit (Exports-Imports) dropped to $43.7 billion. Presumably, most of the drop was due to lower oil prices. Keep in mind that if the trade deficit is $43.7 billion then the capital surplus was $43.7 billion meaning that people outside the U.S. own $43.7 billion more U.S. capital than they did a month before.  This can be debt of the U.S. Treasury or U.S. corporations, real estate, or equity in U.S. corporations.