Hope you're feeling rested because this is the biggest day of the year, at least so far. That's because we've got a confluence of technicals, fundamentals and for want of a better term, "collective mojo" coming to a head in the next eight hours.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the underlying trend firmly pointed to strengthening labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 283,000 for the week ended Oct. 18, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell to 281,000, the lowest level since May 2000, from a revised 284,000 in the previous week. "It shows that job creation continued to forge ahead in October," said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.