Thursday's U.S. jobless claims report showed a strengthening labor market. At 289,000, the jobless queue was at the lowest levels since July 19, when it was 279,000; prior to that, you have to go back to 2006. The four-week moving average is also at its lowest levels since 2006.
Over across the Atlantic, however, the picture is different. With everyone distracted by Ukraine and Russia, Europe is becoming a dicier proposition by the day.
European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi left interest rates unchanged. This is a delicate time for Draghi: Europe is clearly being influenced by events in Ukraine; the German economy —the euro zone's largest—appears to be slowing; and Italy has slipped into a technical recession (defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction).
During the press conference, he acknowledged that that geopolitical risks could hurt the economy.