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Claims continue to decline

Weekly claims for unemployment continue to slowly decline. No sign of anything unusual going on in the labor market. That's good, because avoiding recession is all that matters from an investment perspective these days.

When yields on risk-free assets are close to zero, it only makes sense to hold those assets if you need liquidity and/or are highly concerned about the potential for losses in other assets, most of which are yielding substantially more, as shown in the chart above. From a macro perspective, the fact that significant assets are being held with virtually a zero yield (e.g., bank savings deposits are now $6.8 trillion, up from $4 trillion in late 2008) can be interpreted as a sign that the market is very worried about a recession, since that is the one event most likely to create widespread losses in risky assets.

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