U.S. markets open flat amid unexpected rise in jobless claims

  • U.S. markets open flat amid unexpected rise in jobless claims

U.S. markets open flat amid unexpected rise in jobless claims

AgenciesWith the next fiscal stimulus package now expected only after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, momentum in the labor market is expected to remain slow.

USA initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, rose to 778,000 in the week ending November 21, following an upwardly revised 748,000 in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Wednesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 730,000 applications.

He lauded the efforts with the vaccine, and said that this was an incredible medical breakthrough.

At 11:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.71% at 29,832.01.

The S&P 500 was down 0.27%, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.11%.

The index breached 26,660 in early trading.

A wide range of data released in advance of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday was dominated by a second consecutive week of unexpected jobless claims increases, suggesting that new restrictions to combat spiking coronavirus cases could hobble the struggling labor market's recovery.

Recent data suggesting a COVID-19 vaccine could be available before the end of the year has put the United States market on course for its best November ever.

"We are positioning for a 20 per cent stock market pullback between now and the 2021 presidential inauguration", said James McDonald, chief executive officer of Hercules Investments in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, U.S. equities achieved a milestone with the Dow rallying more than 400 points to close above the 30,000 mark for the first time in history.

Major US banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group, among the most economically-sensitive, were down more than 1%.

Market participants said they expected U.S. stocks to climb even higher, with a recent Reuters poll showing the S&P 500 is poised to rise 9 percent between now and the end of 2021.

The Nasdaq is up 181.82 points, or 1.5%.

S&P 500 closed at an all-time high after rallying 1.6%.