There’s one thing for certain regarding current markets—there has been no earth-shattering economic report that investors can sink their teeth into. Yes, the 4.00% GDP number for Q2 raised a few eyebrows but many shrugged off the report as an anomaly in line with the negative growth reported in Q1.weekly jobless claims to 8 year low But as reports are released they are showing gradual improvement.

And with the release of first time unemployment claims today, we may be picking up a bit more steam. The payroll numbers released last Friday showed yet again another 200,000+ new jobs created but that tally also includes those who are underemployed as well as part time workers.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 to 289,000 for the week ending August 2, the same day the unemployment report for July was released. That’s a bit lower than what many economists were expecting, something closer to 305,000. The weekly claims numbers can be volatile from week to week depending upon factors such as a plant closing or a refinery retooling. However, the four week moving average, a more reliable count, fell to 293,500, or 4,000 lower. The four week average closed below 300,000 and hit a low not seen since 2006 at pre-recession levels. Will that cause the Fed to raise rates sooner rather than later?

Just one report won’t cause the Fed to do anything but a collection of various reports over time certainly can. There is little doubt there are pockets of economic improvement it’s just that nothing has shaken the earth. And that’s probably a good thing as a major surprise showing significant strength would turn the tables somewhat. In such an instance, those fearing an early rate increase by the Fed will probably see their fears come to life.