Initial jobless claims again unexpectedly rise
There is a second consecutive hiccup on the labor front. At least, investors hope it's only a hiccup: for the second straight week, initial jobless claims rose. According to the U.S. Labor Department, this time, they rose from 561,000 to 576,000, an increase of 15,000. Also, continuing claims rose for the second week in a row, increasing by 2,000 to 6.241 million.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected jobless claims to fall to 550,000. On the other hand, economists view the 4-week average as a better indicator of unemployment conditions, as it smooths-out anomalies for strikes, holidays, or other idiosyncratic events; by this measure, the average for initial jobless claims increased by 4,250 to a total of 565,750.