THE BASIS POINT

Rates Creeping Up Short Term. Long Term View Means Next Week.

Greek politicians seem to have reached an agreement on budget matters which will comply with the dictates of the rescue funds.

The market views this as positive news strengthening the Euro and causing selling of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage bonds (higher rates.)

The bigger picture is more complex. Losses still have to be taken and if fiscal austerity is put in place, economic activity will wane.

This is one of those days when I am reminded that long-term thinking regarding the economy means next week. Each day has a tale which is forgotten the next day.

As for today, here’s a stat rundown…

Jobless Claims
-358,000 for week ended February 4, seasonally adjusted
-Down 15,000 from previous week’s revised 373,000 (was 367k)
-4-week moving average was 366,250, down 11,000
-The jobs market is showing modest improvement. The one caveat is that unseasonably warm weather may have held down seasonably related layoffs in construction.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
-This is weekly sample of consumers’ views on the state of the economy
-Index Level -41.7. Previous was -44.8.
-This is a one-year high
-But the index ranges from -100 to +100. Long way off from positive
Full report

Wholesale Trade
-Inventories, Month/Month +1.0 %. Previous was +0.1%.
-This must be backed up by stronger Retail Sales (next Tuesday) or the increase in wholesale inventories will wane.