Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quick Notes for the Day - April 1

Jobless Claims Fall - The Labor Department reported that the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000. The four-week average fell to the lowest level since September 2008 at 447,250. For the week ended March 20, continuing claims fell 6,000 to 4.66 million. The four-week average of these ongoing claims declined 12,500 to 4.68 million which is the lowest level since January 2009.

ISM Rises to Six Year High - The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported the ISM manufacturing diffusion index rose to 59.6% in March versus 56.5% in February which is the highest reading since July 2004. Seventeen of 18 industries were growing in March. The orders and production indexes rose above 61%. The employment index slipped to 55.1%.

Oil, Gold Rise on Upbeat Data - Crude oil rose momentarily above $85 a barrel which is the highest since 2008. Gold rose 0.1% to $1,124 this morning. Commodities rose in response to economic data around the world that was more upbeat than previously estimated.

Jobless claims fall, March manufacturing surges - Reuters - "The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless aid fell last week and factory activity in March hit its highest level in more than 5-1/2 years, pointing to a continued expansion in the economy."

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