From the morning email rush, it seems that economists are discounting some of this number to volatility and revisions.
But very disappointing was the 12.6 percent drop in new home sales to 284,000, showing the distressing lack of demand in housing, as prices continue to drop. The decline follows a revised gain of 15.7 percent to 325,000 in December.
But jobless claims tell a bit of a positive story. Pimco senior market strategist Tony Crescenzi points out in a note that when coupled with the latest consumer confidence data, the 22,000 decline in weekly claims to 391,000 is significant. The Conference Board consumer confidence index Tuesday was reported at 70.4, the highest level since February, 2008 and up from 64.8 in the prior month. (Watch Rick Santelli dissect today's economic reports.)
Economists had expected weekly claims to come in at 400,000 or slightly higher, but below the 413,000 the week earlier. The four week average of 402,000 is the lowest since the middle of 2008.