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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims Crack 400,000; Eurozone Officially Enters Recession

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Europe's core is not immune from the contagion.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stock futures are mixed today, as the eurozone fell into a recession in the last quarter and jobless claims in the United States ticked up.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance got a huge bump last week, as claimants who would have filed the week before but couldn't because of Hurricane Sandy, did so. A total of 439,000 claims were filed last week. Economists expected a rise of only 20,000 from the 355,000 claims that were made the week before.

The Consumer Price Index rose only 0.1% in October. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.2%.

The New York Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey fell more than expected to -5. The Philadelphia fed will release its own survey of manufacturing conditions in its district at 10:00 a.m. EST. The Philly Fed index is expected to show that business conditions worsened this month, falling to 4.5 from 5.7.

The eurozone has officially slid into a double-dip recession. Put together, the 17-member bloc shrank by 0.1% in the third quarter after slipping 0.2% in the second quarter. Here are some highlights from today's data:
  • German GDP grew by 0.2%.
  • France's economy unexpectedly expanded 0.2%.
  • The AAA-rated Netherlands shrank by 1.1%.
  • Italy contracted by 0.2%, but economists expected worse after its 0.8% drop in the second quarter.
  • Finland shrank by 1%.
  • Spain confirmed that it is in a recession with negative 0.3% growth last quarter.
  • Austrian GDP contracted by 0.1%, its first quarterly drop since the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Estonia and Latvia both grew by 1.7% in the quarter.
This is the second official recession since the financial crisis for the currency union. Taken as a whole, it has not posted a single quarter of growth in a full year. On a yearly basis, the 17-nation economy is 0.6% smaller than it was a year ago.

Also, there won't be a Greek default tomorrow, despite the Troika's failure to make a decision on Greece's aid package. The country sold enough short-term bonds to pay the 5 billion euros of bonds that come to maturity tomorrow.

After yesterday's sell-off, futures are mixed. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures fell 0.13% to 12,528.00. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures gained 0.09% to 1,354.20, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose by 0.15% to 2,533.25.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) shares sank 3.38% this morning after the company reported earnings of $1.08 per share, a penny above expectations. Revenue grew 3.4%, missing estimates of 4.3% growth. The company narrowed its earnings guidance for the year to $4.83-$4.93 per share.

Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) will cut 1,700 jobs, or 5% of its total workforce to reduce costs.

With violence erupting in Israel and Palestine, oil futures are up 0.23% to $86.52 per barrel in New York.

The Federal Housing Administration, which insures lenders against losses, is expected to request a taxpayer bailout this week. The FHA insures fewer mortgages than Fannie Mae (OTC:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCKJ), but has 739,000 delinquent loans on the books, more than both Fannie and Freddie put together.


Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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