Jobless claims continue to move lower, revealing an undergoing improvement in the labor market. Initial Claims fell -14K during the week ending August 2nd to 289K (consensus 304K). The 4-week average for Initial Claims fell -4K to 293.5K, the lowest level since February 2006. Continuing Claims for the July 26th week fell -24K to 2518K (consensus 2512K), and the 4-week average is down -17K to 2519K. The unemployment rate for insured workers remained steady at 1.9%. The FNMA 30-Year current coupon fell -1.1 bps to 3.204 vs. 3.215 prior and the 15-Year current coupon fell -1 bps to 2.321 vs. 2.331 prior. Yesterday MBS underperformed, closing 1-2 ticks wider to treasuries, and today the curve has modestly bull flattened with 2s10s down -0.5 bps and MBS performance is now mixed.
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