The broad decline in economic data was offset yesterday by another surprisingly low initial claims print. Although the employment recovery is not necessarily as admittedly rosy as the headline numbers suggest the trend lower in claims is a positive sign that labor conditions continue to improve. Initial claims printed just shy of 42-year lows with the 4-week average falling to approximately 272,000 with the trend lower intact. However, in sharp contrast to employment, producer prices showed that deflation continues to encircle the globe. On expectations of gains in producer prices, data surprised to the downside, missing estimates and printing in negative territory. Gold continues to rise in spite of the pervasive deflationary forces. Nevertheless, persistent weakness in the dollar is seeing gold overcome major technical levels on the upside not crossed in 3-months as the S&P 500 hit a new record.