Weekly Jobless Claims Tank

US_Dept_of_LaborThe U.S. Labor Department is out with yet another weekly jobless claims report, but this one was a much better-than-expected surprise. Weekly claims plummeted by 24,000 to 297,000 in the past week. The prior week's report was revised to 321,000 from a preliminary reading of 319,000.

Bloomberg's consensus estimate from economists was 317,000, and Dow Jones was calling for a reading of 320,000. The good news is that this was the lowest reading since 2007, and it comes at a time when other, less broad economic reports have been mix-and-match between weak and strong jobs growth. The Labor Department said that there were no special factors influencing this report.

Another boost is that the four-week average fell by 2,000 to 323,250 in the past week.

The continuing jobless claims, the army of the unemployed, fell by 9,000 to 2.667 million. That comes with a one-week lag, but it was also the lowest continuing claims reading going back to the end of 2007.

Investors will have paid closer attention to the Consumer Price Index reading more than a weekly claims reading. That being said, equity futures are still weak after the Walmart earnings report.

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