First up is the weekly jobless claims report. From JPMorgan:
Initial jobless claims were unchanged at 370,000 during the week ending May 12 (claims for the prior week were revised up by 3,000). Claims have been pretty steady over the past three weeks around 370,000 which is an improvement relative to the prior three weeks when claims came in around 390,000; however, the recent data are not quite as favorable as what was reported for some weeks in February and March when claims got close to 360,000. The week ending May 12 was the survey period for the May employment report and the level of claims declined by about 20,000 between the survey periods for April and May while the four-week moving average—a better measure of the trend—was essentially unchanged at 375,000.
Smells like Stagnation Nation to me. Next, a surprisingly, shockingly bad Philly Fed report (via MarketWatch)
Business conditions at manufacturing firms in the Philadelphia region worsened in May, according to the monthly survey issued Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. The Philly Fed index fell to -5.8 from 8.5 in April, well below expectations. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the index to increase to 10.0. Reading below zero indicate that more companies are contracting instead of expanding. The new-orders index dropped to -1.2 from 2.7 in April and the employment index, a gauge of hiring expectations, also turned negative
That smells like something worse than stagnation. And these charts from Reuters really tell the story. Ugly:
UPDATE: Now this from Bloomberg:
Consumer confidence dropped last week to the lowest level since the end of January as slower U.S. job growth contributed to pessimism about personal finances and spending.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell in the week ended May 13 to minus 43.6, a level associated with recessions or their aftermaths, from minus 40.4 in the previous period. The monthly expectations measure was little changed as Americans see scant improvement in the world’s largest economy.
The fourth straight decline in weekly confidence comes even as gasoline prices have retreated from an 11-month high reached in early April. The figures underscore the need for stronger job and wage gains that would help propel household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.