WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to a further tightening of labor market conditions. The sign on a Taco Bell restaurant advertises "Now Hiring Managers" in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, U.S., June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder Other data on Thursday showed a moderation in factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region in June amid a decline in new orders. Firms, however, continued to report overall increases in employment this month. The robust labor market, which is underpinning economic growth, likely will pave the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates two more times this year. The U.S. central bank last week increased borrowing costs for a second time this year and forecast two more rate hikes by the end of 2018. “The U.S. labor market is tightening,” said Maria Cosma, an economist a Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “Though unemployment … [Read more...] about U.S. labor market tightening; mid-Atlantic manufacturing cools
U s futures market
(AP) NEW YORK - Stock futures fell Thursday despite better-than-expected data on unemployment claims as more dispiriting news arrived from overseas. Dow Jones industrial average futures slid 83 points to 12,453. Standard & Poor's 500 futures fell 10.6 points to 1,325.70 and Nasdaq futures gave up 17.25 points to 2,544. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plunged last week to four-year lows, but some of the decline was due to temporary factors, like a boost in production from car makers. The Labor Department said weekly applications dropped by 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000. It was the third straight decline and the lowest level since March 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 376,500. Economists believe the rate must be consistently below 375,000 to lower the unemployment rate. Hiring slowed measurably during the spring. Also spooking markets are expectations that China, the world's second-largest economy, is … [Read more...] about U.S. futures dip on global economic worries
An ongoing surge in eurozone government bond yields pushed U.S. equity futures down sharply on Thursday morning, with the Dow Jones industrial average trading back below the 18,000 threshold that the index first crossed back in December. A number of catalysts are in play, from fractious Greek bailout negotiations, as Athens nears a deadline on Friday for a $375 billion debt payment to the International Monetary Fund, to signs of inflation in the eurozone and comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Wednesday that recent bond market volatility is here to stay. How bad is it? The 10-year German bond yield has already suffered its largest two-day rise since 1998, while the 30-year U.S. Treasury yield surged above 3.1 percent yesterday to return to levels not seen since early October. Currency is volatile as well, with the euro surging more than six percent against the dollar over the last two weeks. Greece and its creditors are considering proposals that would avoid a … [Read more...] about What is rattling U.S. financial markets?
Stocks suffered their worst one-day reversal since June 2016 on a points basis on Tuesday. First, the Dow Jones Industrials average zoomed past the 26,000 threshold, bagging the quickest-ever 1,000 point gain from its last round number (hit just seven days ago). But with options traders increasingly "over their toes" -- positioned too aggressively -- and a combination of cryptocurrency carnage, a push higher in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) and fears of a possible government shutdown later this week brought out the sellers. The day ended in the worst percentage reversal since Dec. 1. Other negative catalysts on the horizon include the start of fourth-quarter 2017 earnings reports and the Federal Reserve's looming monetary policy meeting. The single biggest story of the day, outside of the price reversal (largest high-to-close move since March 2017) was the way the VIX was correlated to stock prices at Tuesday's open. This is a possible regime change because stocks … [Read more...] about Volatility returns to the U.S. stock market
Economy As U.S. Stock Market Opens, Uncertainty Reigns Listen · 3:52 3:52 Toggle more options Download Embed Embed <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/583627674/583630967" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player"> Transcript Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email The sharp drop in the stock market has sparked concern about the U.S. economy. NPR's Jim Zarolli tells Rachel Martin the plunge appears to be a natural correction. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: After a record point drop on Monday, investors were nervous as the stock market opened this morning. Joining us now, NPR business reporter Jim Zarroli. Hey, Jim. JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Good morning. MARTIN: So market futures were signaling that the Dow was going to start way down today. What happened? ZARROLI: Yeah. It did go down. It fell 567 points. And then right now it's come back quite a bit. So... MARTIN: So volatile. ZARROLI: … [Read more...] about As U.S. Stock Market Opens, Uncertainty Reigns