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Daily Pfennig: Housing and Labor data doesn’t agree with the FOMC decision

caseyresearch.com / By Chuck Butler / December 20, 2013 2:37pm

In This Issue.

* Data questions the FOMC decision…
* BOJ affirms their dovish stance…
* Gold continues to fall…
* Debt ceiling still a problem…

And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!

Housing and Labor data doesn’t agree with the FOMC decision…

Good day. And welcome to Friday!  It has been a pretty long week for yours truly, and I certainly welcome the weekend!  Temperatures were above 60 degrees on my drive in this morning incredible for the end of December! I am getting started a bit late today (or should I say later) as I was up getting the Christmas cards addressed last night.  The job falls on me each year, as my beautiful bride feels the cards are a waste of time (she prefers to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in person).  But I like receiving the holiday cards and figure anyone who sends us one deserves to get one themselves.  But enough about my night, lets see what the markets were up to while I licked envelopes.

The dollar bulls continued dancing in the streets yesterday as they celebrated the FOMC’s decision to pull back on the bond buying.  The dollar sold off a bit in early Asian trading but turned back around this morning when the Europeans came into the markets and is again on an upward trend.  I’m sure Chairman Bernanke is probably still celebrating the markets reaction to his last FOMC meeting as equities held onto their gains and interest rates remained in a fairly tight range.  But I’m sure the members of the FOMC were probably a bit worried to see yesterday’s data on the labor and housing markets.

The recovery of these two sectors was the main factors held up by the FOMC as reason for them to reduce their bond purchases; but the data released yesterday show the recovery in these two areas of our economy is still very fragile.  Weekly jobless claims rose last week to 379,000, well above the median forecast of a drop to 336k.  The previous week’s number was also revised higher and continuing claims were also higher at 2,884k.  This number has steadily rose since hitting a yearly low of 2,757,000 on November 22nd.  A separate report showed Existing home sales fell 4.3% during November dropping below 5 million.  This follows a drop of 3.2% in the previous month, and like the weekly jobs data failed to match economists projections.

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