Jobless Claims Hit 4-Year Low

Matt Nesto analyzes the morning business headlines.
11:57 | 02/16/12

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Transcript for Jobless Claims Hit 4-Year Low
Morning everyone I'm Dan -- in New York. And there he goes he is off breaking news at this hour there -- -- get to in just a moment weekly jobless claims they've dropped to their lowest level in four years to joining me now to discuss all the business headlines this Thursday morning -- messed up co -- A break out on our partner Yahoo! finance. Matt good morning to you good morning hey listen we a lot to get to this morning economic data. Big releases this morning -- thirty to start weekly us jobless claims they came in 348000. That's down another thirteen thousand. We said that's the lowest level in four years what are we making of this -- this people not filing as much or is this a legitimate gain in growth. How well it's it's definitely seeing -- it's definitely a trend Dan and maybe take a look at it as you point out the lowest since March. Of a 2008 and that the same time the so called continuing claims the people they go in. And have those claims all the time not necessarily the initial first time claims. That also slumped the lowest since August of 2000 aides still high still 3.4. Million people -- those continuing claims but definitely. Continuing to take down and as you mentioned 348000. Is the print so. We're heading in the right direction so that is a good indicator on the unemployment front and -- take a look at a four week average here's a sort of smooth not angles and the ripples -- -- that we have along the way it right yet and we haven't really had too many ripples lately it's been pretty much just heading south you know little bit -- Couple a few thousand lower every single. A month -- also get some numbers -- on housing starts for the month of January they were up in fact one half percent of -- a little bit about the headline here is -- what we expected that kind of increase the -- -- you know 699000. Is that annualized rate for new home construction and now. -- a home construction you have to separated between single family which is about three quarters. Of the total and that figure was actually down 1% the multifamily figure the smaller slice of it was up sharply multifamily starts were up eight. And a half percent so it's important keep that in the context speaking of cut -- 699000. If you look at a fifty year chart. Of housing starts in and I do this kind of thing. You'd see the average. Was about one and a half million the peak in 2006. Was about 2.3 million so we are way. Down below even though you know we're we're we're try to show little games here we are still way below normal eventually. That noble have to revert to the mean or get back what was normal over the past half -- -- not even a quarter over the past seven years that's amazing what that is. Also up this morning wholesale prices. They came out they were up point 1% for the month of January what's the read on that number. Here's Greg I rub against Wall Street -- -- would go the opposite way so you look at that plain Vanilla producer prices are wholesale prices are up a tenth of a percent. Wall Street likes to back out food fuel and get to what's called core PPI Producer Price Index. That number was up four tenths of a percent. I like to look at where they were from a year ago because they think he gives -- -- more. Clear read in terms of well how far -- -- what we did just a month ago but if you look at the on the annualized basis. The core prices were up four tenths of a percent. Up for three month or -- 4%. And that is certainly higher. Then you would expect -- it's actually down from like late fall summer were running at about a 7%. Annualized rate. What this all means. Is that inflation still as much as you might see and feel particularly at the gas bombs on the wholesale levels under control and that gives said the Fed the confidence -- stay where they are in terms of the -- promised. As you know you bring up a great point there because there's often very difficult when you look at -- some of those basics that we always need on a regular basis. We see those prices go up and we think everything across the board is going up but obviously good to put in perspective there. -- out of Michigan boy Matt and I was very happy to see this I'm sure a lot of people are -- is not just outside of Detroit but GM coming out with some big numbers for earnings. For 2011 the most profitable year ever talk. About this yet well you know when they report of a quarter at a time then in the fourth -- get the full years so yes a record profit for this company that is. Now fifteen months old give or take since the new GM became public. The truth of the matter is the stock's been actually pretty high in the short term here but if you take a look at these earnings today definitely some strength -- the areas of concern -- -- issues that GM's gonna have to face going forward to going to be. What they're gonna do with the Europe they had a loss in Europe. For the quarter again albeit smaller than the loss they posted a year ago but Jim definitely has to get things go on in Europe and fix that problem. -- China continues to be very strong for them and they also -- a pretty sizable. 89 billion dollar pension shortfall that's going to have to be. Addressed but definitely the worst. Is behind General Motors -- the new GM. You know taking advantage of its lighter load that has to carry and able to you know post substantial full year profit yet it's amazing this. You know there reading the headlines a -- that -- coming from North American of course you're talking about Europe's problems. That albeit a continuation from the eurozone crisis right yeah absolutely we just keep seeing that's the gift the keeps on given so to speak now unfortunately so well the United States -- Carry the weight of the load for GM's big news this morning are also coming out we've got earnings from G and seeing Nordstrom orbits and in headlines we're gonna be reading through these -- -- -- -- caught my -- like I saw Hanesbrands they make. You know under shirts underwear and such dorks get slammed here today. And they talk about hyper competitive pricing and also record cotton prices that we're talking about you know -- -- inflation on the producer on the wholesale level but here's a company. It's right in there that's dealing with -- high prices at the same time Smucker is pointed to a moderation. A moderating. Commodity price a level that stock is getting hit pretty hard again they came out overnight with their earnings -- full year forecast went down but again. They didn't sell as much jams and jellies as they would expected because of pricing so super sensitive consumer out there we saw a lot of these. Big household brand names try to read increased their prices. Maybe a little more aggressively little earlier in the cycle than they should up. And they're getting slapped down in many cases as a result also CBS is lower here today. Their revenues we're light they were down 3% Mary -- down and Avis the car rental coming -- with -- surprise loss also. Falling on the session. And -- question -- spot here has caught as a commodity has gotten more attention in the past -- -- numbering more more headlines about that. You're the barometer my friend of your read that it's definitely get more attention -- Commodities in general -- getting more attention you don't start -- -- gold. Investors taking. Unprecedented amounts of risk and money into chasing gold stood near record levels. And it just spreads right on down the commodity chain people are more interest in and they can see it. More than ever before right all right -- already have a little political. Slant this morning the payroll tax cut that's been extended through the end of the year now. Are we likely to see this reflected in the markets -- -- -- is -- gonna have a big spike. -- I don't know definitely not -- man is the devil -- a -- a huge rally heightened and I don't even think of they had -- stalled wanted to would have prompted a big sell off we have other issues you know I mean ultimately we're talking about. Twenty dollars a week for the average household 50000 dollar a year household in America so it that you know it would have been bad you don't want any. Additional headwinds if you will in terms of -- anything the slowdown -- pretty you know fragile economy right now so it would've. You know we would have gotten through it. But -- okay so they did -- they were supposed to have done a couple of months ago may extend it throughout the year the problem as I see it is that they keep. Fiddling with the tax -- constantly changing tweaking capital gains dividends taxes. You know the payroll tax that separate -- -- -- people just you know they can't plan in terms of what their take on Jack is going to be. -- or how do we best as a business or an individual in the tax code is constantly changing. And those little -- -- -- announcements they definitely have a a tweaking -- -- and politics for a second more bogus President Obama has called bankers in the past fat cats. Well now is looking to Wall Street to help them with some fund raising aphorisms so the question as I've -- -- a fat cat how quickly are you gonna -- to open up your checkbook right it's Jack. Whether there of those fat cats to. To be pragmatic and you know you often -- C. If you look at those those the Federal Election Commission disclosures -- Who gave what you'll see they give to the left into the right around and you know -- -- Wall Street in general though bonuses are down. So old you know those those big be giving might be a little more restrictive than has been in the past has been a huge amount of layoffs in the banking sector. And there's a fine line between. Banking and investment banking typical Wall Street firms so the banks have been. Really getting -- -- continue to get hit and regulators lot of uncertainty there on the Wall Street firms. While maligned they're doing okay even though their businesses and bonuses are down. I'm so what did you put -- because I think oftentimes we callously just lump investment and banking together and we just kind of -- a black mark on that entire industry so. I'm glad that was clarified but speaking of banks Moody's. Talking about downgrading several firms. In fact Citigroup Goldman Sachs morally Morgan Stanley. Mean this is a big deal is it not Obama. Well yes more than a hundred banks only gets seventeen global banks like the after mention one's. And then over a hundred European base bag so all of this is emanating from the crisis in Europe which you know -- facetiously said is the gift that keeps given the on again off again Greek default -- settlement and and repackaging of their debt and and there are a bailout funds continues to have plagued the market so it's far from over there. Moody's you know these are the same guys that miss the financial crisis. They don't carry the same impact in -- -- that they once did but certainly noteworthy. Whenever they failed to do in the past that they are making a move like this today and threatening. To cut the credit ratings of the -- it's also important in because if you look at the performance in the market this year one of the best performing groups. Has -- the bank index the big banks are up about 15% unity double what that say S&P 500 is doing so they've had a great run a great bounce off the bottom. I think these stocks have been rented in many cases weren't loving them get other there than they might be quick to say -- -- take some profits and run here so watch the bank stocks in that regard as the market itself as having a great care in 2012. Are -- and I try to avoid this term and it seems almost inedible -- insanity heat of course if you're under a rock and you have no idea what we're talking about Jeremy Lin now right with the knicks. He is Lynn -- duration with the -- not going to be affecting the price. MSG stock -- -- -- -- that think this guy is -- -- value is that -- -- seventeen million something like that what they -- -- his -- Always well -- -- could vehicle incidents I don't know because that's not. Street corner and -- stock is up I'd. I honestly look at February when this whole story really got going but MSG Madison Square Garden. Is up 11% for the month in February the S&P. Is up about 2% so clearly -- -- going on there you know whether -- people are actually investing unit I can't tell you but it is that Madison Square -- give or take is trading. Close to an all time high the market cap at two. Point four billion if you gave at all -- gain that 11%. To Jeremy Lin then you're talking about a quarter of a billion dollars now he's probably a good investment. But I don't think they're gonna renamed Lincoln Tunnel after. -- Matt Matt -- into the -- Air Canada why do you came into play.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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