Better-Than-Expected Jobless Claims Data Boosting Stocks

Andrew Klips  |

Wall Street is in the green in early trading as stocks look to end a multi-session losing streak upon a report that initial jobless claims dropping to a four-year low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is looking to end a three-day skid; advancing 45.16 points to 13,390.13 less than one hour into trading. The S&P 500 has climbed 8.27 points to 1,440.83 as it aims to stop a four-day slide. The Nasdaq is completing the green sweep for major indices; edging up by 22.27 points to 3,074.05 after four red sessions.

The Labor Department said that filings for first time unemployment benefits declined by 30,000 to 339,000 for the week ended October 6, marking the lowest level since February 2008. Economists were predicting a rise of 1,000 applications to a seasonally adjusted 368,000. The agency also upwardly revised the prior week’s figure from 367,000 to 369,000.
The four-week average of new claims, generally regarded as a more accurate portrait of the jobs market trend because it eliminates volatility, demurred 11,500 to 364,000, the lowest level since late March.

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In a separate report, the Commerce Department said that the trade gap expanded in August to $44.2 billion as exports declined for the third straight month to their lowest level since February.

Notable gainers this morning include: Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (CTB), Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR) and Arch Coal Inc. (ACI), which have all risen about 9 percent.

Big banks are also performing well after Citigroup Inc. (C) upgraded U.S. equities and predicted a rally in global equities through the end of 2013. Shares of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and UBS AG (UBS) have all appreciated in value along with Citigroup in early trade.

In the energy patch, Range Resources Corp. (RRC) said that third-quarter production was 47 percent higher than in same period last year and up by 10 percent from second quarter. The figures not only topped corporate guidance, but set a record production total. Crude oil production tallied 7,748 barrels per day while Range produced and average of 623.3 million cubic feet each day.

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