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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jobless Claims Say Path of Least Resistance Down

A statistically significant rise or fall in jobless claims often warns of an economic expansion and contraction ahead, respectively.  C3 and C4, longer period cycles, capture the ebb and flow of capital over the long-term.  C1 and C2, short period cycles, help traders/investors track the cycles within cycles.  While falling jobless claims have fallen to a 5-year low, they have yet to generated concentrated reading for the C1, C2, C3, or C4 cycle.  In other words, the path of least resistance is down - falling jobless claims.

As jobless claims fall, expect investors to slowly embrace what Irvine Fisher described as the (permanent) plateau of prosperity prior to the Stock Market Crash of 1929. That general expectation usually finds its way into the headlines when C1, C2, and at times C3 and C4 are negatively concentrated and the equity trend is showing signs of technical deterioration. In other words, right before all economic hell break loose.

Chart: S&P 500 (SP500AVG), Average Weekly Initial Jobless Claims (AWIC) and AWIC Cycle Z Scores (AWICC1&2)

Chart: S&P 500 (SP500AVG), Average Weekly Initial Jobless Claims (AWIC) and AWIC Cycle Z Scores (AWICC3&4)

Headline: Jobless claims fall to another 5-year low

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits is hovering at its lowest level in five years, after falling for a second week in a row.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 last week to 330,000, down from 335,000 the previous week. That's the lowest level since January 2008.

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