Retail Sales for the month of January fell more than expected, down -0.8% vs. -0.9% prior (consensus -0.4%). The downward pressure on Retail Sales reflects negative contributions from gasoline sales (-9.3%) and sporting goods stores (-2.6%); gasoline sales slumped the most since December 2008. Initial Jobless Claims rose +25K to 304K and the prior week was revised up from 278K to 279K. The four-week average for Jobless Claims dropped to the lowest level in three months at 290K vs. 293K prior. Continuing Claims fell to 2354K and the prior week was revised up from 2400K to 2405K. The labor market continues to show signs of improvement adding to speculation that the Fed could raise rates before the end of this year. Treasuriesrallied this morning in response to the disappointing Retail Sales data pushing the 10-Year note back below 2% and the curve has bull steepened with 2s10s up +1.0 bps.
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