The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 broke through to new record highs last week, fueled by a steady stream of impressive economic data that generally outpaced predictions of economists. The tech-heavy Nasdaq may not be breaking any all-time records, but it is now sitting at its highest level since November 2000. As the Dow looks to push above and hold over 15,000 this week, it won’t be able to rely on economic data this week as a catalyst. In fact, it will be one of the slowest weeks in news from Washington so far in 2013.
Normally, we have a healthy list of what to look for, but this week as far as statistics that can sway the market, investors will only get initial jobless claims from the Labor Department on Thursday.
For the week ended April 27, the number of first-time filings declined by 18,000 to 324,000, the lowest figure since January 2008. The four-week moving average, a less-volatile barometer of labor trends, fell 16,000 to a six-week low at 342,250.
This week, economists are expecting new filings for jobless benefits to increase to 336,000.
Last week, the monthly report on nonfarms payrolls was a market driver on Friday with the Labor Department upwardly revising the February and March figures while saying that the U.S. created a better-than-expected 165,000 jobs in April. At the same time, the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent in March, marking a four-year low.
To a lesser extent, economists will also be looking at the monthly report on the Treasury budget on Friday afternoon. Commodity players will also be monitoring the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories on Wednesday.
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