Unexpected rise in claims sours markets
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.