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Takeaway: Another week of solid labor market improvement. We would take advantage of beaten down deep-value names on the long side on this data.

This past week's initial jobless claims data looks almost identical to that of the prior week. Rolling, non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) claims were better by 9.6% year-over-year, which was a hair better than the 9.5% improvement in the previous week.

Jobs Picture Improving - josh

Clearly all eyes are on the Friday payrolls report. Historically the ability to forecast non-farm payrolls with claims has been poor (i.e. there's typically a high correlation, but with a fairly high standard error). Nevertheless, the 4-week print (seasonally adjusted) this week was 346,500, which was actually down from the 4-week print for May at 352,500.

Based on this and last month's NSA print of 175,000 and this month's consensus of 161,000, we'll go out on a limb and suggest that there's a better than 50% chance the NFP print will come in nominally ahead of expectations.

Tactically thinking about the Friday number aside, the real takeaway is that the fundamentals of the labor market (NSA YoY) continue to improve at an accelerating rate.