After yesterday's shocking abysmal Richmond Fed number, which plunged the most on record to the lowest level since 2009, traders and economists were keeping a close eye on today's initial claims print as this particular leading labor market indicator is considered by many as the best alert to a reversal in the unemployment rate as well as the best advance warning to any looming economic slowdown. After all, based on the current level of the 2s10s curve, it is almost time for the jobless rate in the US to start rising...

... and which would will first be telegraphed by rising initial claims.

The good news is that according to today's just reported initial claims number, said reversal is not yet on deck, because not only did initial claims "follow" the Richmond Fed sharply higher, but they dipped fractionally, from 217K to 216K, matching expectations, and confirming that at least for the time being, the US labor market continues to operate as expected without any notable glitches.

And while we will also get the Conference Board Consumer confidence number at 10am ET today, which may provide some additional clues on whether the US economy has taken swooned lower, don't expect any updates on the state of the rapidly deteriorating US housing market: today's New Home Sales data (which is published by the closed Census Bureau) will not be reported as a result of the ongoing government shutdown.