No Job, No Rally

The market will be eagerly waiting to hear about jobless claims on Thursday when the government releases its weekly report. Will we get a surprise like we did last week when the number fell unexpectedly?

According to published reports, economists expect claims to be come in around 438,000, down 12,000 from last week.

However most economists consider a reading above 400,000 for weekly claims as indicating recession-like conditions. New-claim filings have topped 400,000 for each of the past four weeks.

"I think the number will be around 450,000 and I think more jobs will be lost because the economy is feeling the aftershocks of the financial tsunami," says Deutsche Bank chief economist Joe Lavorgna on Fast Money.

"But markets are forward looking and if you think the bottom is in the fourth quarter then the market should start to improve," he says. "If my growth forecast is right with GDP growing a half point, then equities could start to make a move up sometime late fall."

The Bottom Line: “If this is a nine inning baseball game we’re in the bottom of the fourth, Lavorgna says.”

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Trader disclosure: On Aug 19, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (CY), (MSFT), (WMT); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Pete Najarian Owns (AAPL) And Is Short (AAPL) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (CSCO) Call Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (LEH) Put Spread; Pete Najarian Owns (MS) And Is Short (MS) Calls; Pete Najarian Owns (NVDA) Calls And (NVDA) Call Spread; Terranova Owns (AAPL), (BNI), (CME), (EOG), (FCX), (GS), (GOOG), (INTC), (KOL), (NOV), (POT), (RIMM), (SA), (XLF), (SU), (X), (VLO), (YHOO); Terranova Owns (AIG) Puts; Terranova Is Short Crude Oil Time Spread (Short Dec. 2009, Long Dec. 2012); Terranova Is Long Crude Oil Futures (Dec. 2012)

Terranova Is Chief Alternatives Strategist Of Phoenix Investment Partners, Ltd.; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns More Than 1% Of (ABD), (ARE), (BRE), (CNTY), (CLB), (OFC), (DLR), (ESS), (EXR), (FL), (IAT), (IGE), (LNET), (MAC), (OIIM), (PSPT), (DBC), (DBV), (SLB), (SKT), (BLV)

Terranova Is Co-Portfolio Manager Of The Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO; Phoenix Diversifier PHOLIO Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV)