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The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week but remained high by historical standards.

Applications for benefits declined 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late November. Still, before the virus erupted in the United States last March, weekly applications for unemployment benefits had never topped 700,000, even during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.


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A record rush to big technology stocks saw equity funds bagging $27.8 billion inflows last week with the ongoing ultra-easy monetary policy creating the “mother-of-all asset bubbles”, BofA said on Friday.

Global market capitalization has risen $50 trillion, or $6.2 billion per hour, since last March, almost 10 times faster than the pace seen in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the U.S. investment bank said.


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Uncertainty about the impact climate change may have on the financial system should not prevent financial firms and their supervisors from moving now to prepare for the shocks to come, a key Federal Reserve policymaker said on Thursday.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard, in remarks to an Institute of International Finance forum on the move to a low-carbon economy, said financial firms faced risks not just from weather-related disasters, but also potentially fast changes in asset prices if and when government policies change.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard, in remarks to an Institute of International Finance forum on the m...


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As the White House and Congressional Democrats press for a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that many Republicans say is more than what the country needs or can afford, Federal Reserve policymakers are also split on the issue.

“We are still in the teeth of this pandemic - and we are not out of the woods yet,” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in an online event Monday.


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Stuck in the grip of a viral pandemic, the U.S. economy grew at a 4% annual rate in the final three months of 2020 and shrank last year by the largest amount in 74 years.

For 2020 as a whole, a year when the coronavirus inflicted the worst economic freeze since the end of World War II, the economy contracted 3.5% and clouded the outlook for the coming year. The economic damage followed the eruption of the pandemic 10 months ago and the deep recession it triggered, with tens of millions of Americans left jobless.


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A recent rise in U.S. bond yields and market inflation expectations has bolstered Federal Reserve officials’ hopes that the central bank’s new monetary policy approach is taking hold and could be further buoyed if a Democratic-led Congress rolls out more spending.

“I am encouraged to see the rise in market indicators of inflation expectations. ... That is what we are trying to support,” Richmond Federal President Thomas Barkin said on Thursday in an interview with Reuters.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday said it had extended the end date for its Main Street Lending Program by eight days to process a rush of applications submitted since the Trump administration said it was terminating the emergency credit facility and several others set up by the U.S. central bank.

The program, targeted at small- and mid-sized businesses in need of credit to get through the recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, will remain open until Jan. 8 rather than closing on Dec. 31, as originally announced by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in November, the Fed said in a statement.