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Initial claims for unemployment in regular state programs fell by 75,000 to 712.000 for the week ended November 28.

That was the first decline in new claims for unemployment in three weeks. And a big improvement over the 775,000 initial claims that economists had projected before the report from the Labor Department.

And stocks barely moved higher on the news.

I’d characterize the reaction as a big yawn.

What gives?

Nobody trusts the number. The week in question included the big Thanksgiving holiday and holidays always play havoc with the numbers. You might as well just throw out any seasonal adjustment to the raw figures. The unadjusted data showed a decrease of 75,000.The seasonally adjusted figure put the drop at 122,000 for the week. There’s good reason to doubt both numbers because 1) a week with a big holiday does require some seasonal adjustment–so we can’t just use the unadjusted number–but 2) a week with a big holiday introduces a lot of error, usually, into the seasonal adjustment–so we can’t relay on that adjusted number either.

In addition, the market’s reaction was tempered by the knowledge that we get the employment report for the month of November tomorrow. We no one wanted to put money today into play on a weekly number that could be undercut by tomorrow’s monthly figures.

Economists expect that tomorrow jobs report for November will shows that the economy added 475,000 jobs in November. That would be the smallest monthly gain in seven months and would continue a pattern of declines in the monthly addition of jobs by the U.S. economy. Economists also expect the official unemployment rate to drop to 6.8% from 6.9% in October.