GOOD NEWS jobless

Initial jobless claims for the week of 1/15 unexpectedly improved dipping to 404k from the downwardly revised 441k the week prior. This should translate into a better payrolls report when the data are released on 2/4. Also, the architectural billings index jumped 3.2 points in December to a 3-year high of 54.2. This index leads the growth rate of non-residential construction by about a year.

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