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US weekly jobless claims little changed

January 08, 2010 | "Barron’s Econoday"

Initial jobless claims were little changed in the Jan. 2 week, up 1,000 to 434,000 (prior week revised 1,000 higher to 433,000). The Labor Department reported no special factors. The four-week average extended its long streak of improvement, down a sizable 10,250 to 450,250 for its lowest level since September last year. Continuing claims continue to show improvement, down 179,000 in the Dec. 26 week to 4.802 million. Equities and commodities edged higher while the dollar edged lower in initial reaction to the results.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
Initial jobless claims fell a very sizable 22,000 in the December 26 week to 432,000. This is a 17 month low. Continuing claims, at 4.981 million, were down 57,000 in the latest week (December 19) and down 27 percent from their cycle peak in June at 6.774 million.

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