New unemployment claims decreased, giving Wall Street a boost. CC by Pargon/Flickr

It has been a while since the number of new jobless claims dropped. For the last year, employment in the U.S. has been awful. However, the usual holiday employment bump and another bump from the U.S. census hiring people made things a little better. Fewer jobless claims is welcome good news, even if real estate might soon be read its last rites. That said, it isn’t cause to celebrate, as unemployment is as bad as it has ever been, having held since November of 2009. Still, the news made Wall Street happy, as markets climbed ever so slightly when the news broke.

Drop in new jobless claims

The Department of Labor got to release some happy news. There was a reduction in the number of new jobless claims this week. Seasonally adjusted, there were 473,000 jobless claims. However, that number is down by 31,000 over the last week. The past four weeks, according to Forbes, average out to jobless claims of 486,750, which are the highest since November 2009. One must take lower winter unemployment with a grain of salt, though. Winter provides some seasonal employment in retail. There was also some other temporary employment because the Census was taken this year.

Small boost for stock markets

The new jobless claims report provided, according to the Wall Street Journal, a little boost to stock markets. The uptick was modest at best; the greatest gain was a 0.3 percent boost for Standard & Poor’s. The Nasdaq climbed only 0.2 percent, and the Dow Jones managed a paltry 0.1 percent gain. The big news on Wall Street is really the Dell acquisition, though others are trying to stop it, of data storage company 3Par. A bidding war between Dell and Hewlett-Packard for 3 Par has been the huge story on Wall Street over the last week, after last week’s rampant coverage of Potash Corp.

Not even close to out of the woods

The data released just means a small drop in unemployment claims. There just aren’t the jobs available anymore, and the economy keeps contracting. Real estate shows few signs of life, and it is believed that up to 10 percent of all homeowners may have foreclosure as a significant possibility in their future.



Wall Street Journal:

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