The markets have modest gains despite the decline of 7% in crude oil over the past two days. Natural gas is doing the opposite of oil, up about 2% as inventories showed a larger than expected withdrawal of 64 billion cubic feet. This is still lower than 5 year average, showing a decline of 136 billion cubic feet.
As all eyes are on tomorrow’s release of the February non-farm payroll report, initial claims for the week ending March 4 were up 20,000 to 243,000; and the 4 week moving average increased by 2000 to 236,5000. While there was an uptick, this is still the 105th straight week with claims below 300,000.
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