Stocks Rise; Jobless Claims Fall; Euro Rises Against Dollar
Stocks Rise on Stimulus Bets Before Jobs Report (Bloomberg)
Stocks rose today, erasing the S&P 500 Index’s earlier losses from a two-day losing streak, as investors weighed the Federal Reserve’s stimulus plans before tomorrow’s report on employment growth. “The U.S. markets are going through a transition from being liquidity driven to a rally based on fundamental data and that’s a very bumpy ride,” Andres Garcia-Amaya, global market strategist at JP Morgan Funds, said. “Investors are trying to figure out whether we are now pricing in earnings and the jobs situation or whether it’s still the Fed leading markets. So we’re slowly taking off the training wheels and that makes things a little wobbly.”
Jobless Claims Fall (Reuters)
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, suggesting moderate job growth despite sluggish economic activity. According to the Labor Department, initial claims for unemployment benefits declined 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000. This claim was slightly higher than expected, as economists polled by Reuters expected first-time applications to fall to 345,000 last week.
The euro reached a one-month high against the dollar today, marking a second straight session of gains, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi dismissed cutting overnight deposit rates below zero in the future. “The market got ahead of itself, making assumptions of ECB easing coupled with the reduction in Federal Reserve accommodation,” said Douglas Borthwick, managing director of Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York. “Both data and comments over the past few weeks have diminished these expectations and euro/dollar is now strengthening as the opium of last month dissipates,” he added.