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Initial Jobless Claims Spike on Sandy Irregularities

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Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Overnight trading in equity futures stayed in a tight range before volatile trading following the initial jobless claims report at 8:30 a.m. EST. Initial claims for unemployment insurance showed a large jump to 439,000 from last month's 361,000, well ahead of expectations of 375,000. The large jump was attributed to a lack of claims from New York state last week, due to a loss of electricity in government buildings. Thus, the claims this week included two weeks from New York, not to mention an already exaggerated number due to unemployment claims associated with the Hurricane Sandy.

Negative action was further exacerbated by Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) earnings. Wal-Mart's earnings-per-share was roughly inline with estimates at $1.08, but revenue missed sharply at $113.93 billion versus expectations of $114.87 billion . Also, a number of metrics for US sales showed dangerous declines. Forward guidance for the company was mostly unchanged.

Natural gas futures plunged after the weekly inventory report showed a smaller decline than what was expected. Natural gas futures fell more than 2% after the report showed a decline in inventories by 18 billion cubic feet, less than the expected 27 billion cubic feet.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Remember that tomorrow is options expiration, so price action is more than likely going to be muted.

There isn't much in the way of economic data from the US tomorrow, although the capacity utilization figures will be key. The Fed focuses on this figure when looking at economic activity. The gauge is expected to stay unchanged at 78.3% from last month. Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) will report earnings before the open.

It will also be pretty quiet on the Europe front. The eurozone will report its monthly trade balance. Declining German exports would indicate further weakness out of Europe. The gauge is expected to widen to 10 billion euros from 6.6 billion euros.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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