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Market Preview: Jobs Data, June Same-Store Sales

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When stocks were sinking week after week right up until mid-June, plenty of comparisons were being made to how 2010 played out with a deep spring-summer swoon finally prompting Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to deliver QE2, setting in motion the bull run that lasted well into this year.

The recent strong snapback in stocks has thrown a wrench in that scenario, according to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's Equity Research, if the comparison was even all that apt in the first place.

"From late April through early July, 2010, the S&P 500 tumbled 16% on similar sovereign debt concerns that contributed to the recent decline," he wrote in commentary on Wednesday. "Yet the drop in share prices from April 29 until mid-June 2011 was less than half as deep, even though it was also accompanied by downwardly revised Q2 GDP estimates as a result of the effects of the Japanese supply disruptions, floods, tornadoes, and generally severe weather in the U.S., along with a decline in bond yields and a topping of commodity prices."

Stovall continued: "[L]ast week's rapid recovery of share prices indicate to us that investors don't want to be left standing on the sidelines should the June payroll report and next week's start of the Q2 EPS reporting season deliver an unexpected surprise."

Thursday is all about jobs data, even though the biggest piece of the puzzle won't arrive until Friday in the form of the June employment report from the Labor Department.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, Wall Street gets initial jobless claims for the week ended July 2, and continuing claims for the week ended June 25. The consensus estimates are for initial claims of 425,000, and continuing claims of 3.7 million. In other words, no relief in sight.

What may get more attention on Thursday is the latest payrolls report from Automatic Data Processing at 7:30 a.m. ET. While it's generally viewed as a less-than-reliable indicator for the federal data that will follow on Friday, the ADP report did pick up some juice last time around when it said only 38,000 jobs were added in May.
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