After many months we got a reading in unemployment claims which was below 400K, they came in at 398K. I think that is the main reason you are seeing a bit of a rise in the market today. As I have said before the claims data is quite volatile so we will need to see a few more readings below 400K to conclude that the labor market is starting to improve again.
Overall looking at the strong earnings from companies my current thoughts are that the economy could actually be ready to lift out of this soft patch if these debt limit issues get out of the way. I hope this stalemate does not last long enough that it sends the economy into a negative feedback cycle. While these debt talks continue I am sure it is affecting the psychology of consumers and a lot of companies might be on a wait and see mode.
Following is an interview on CNBC from the CEO of Ryder which leases transportation and supply chain infrastructure for a very large range of companies. He sounded pretty upbeat and from his customer activity he thinks the economy is going to improve.