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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 26, 2010

Unexpected rise in claims sours markets

Associated Press

NEW YORK Stocks backtracked from an early plunge yesterday but still closed lower on concerns about lingering economic weakness in the U.S.

An unexpected rise in first-time claims for unemployment insurance made for a sour mood in the market. The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 496,000. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast a drop in claims.

It was the second straight week that claims rose unexpectedly. High unemployment remains one of the biggest obstacles to a sustained economic recovery. The Labor Department's monthly report on employment will be released next week.