Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Maintain Gains on Jobless-Claims Report

June 30, 2011

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures maintained gains, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend a four-week high, after a report showed that unemployment claims fell from last week.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in September gained 0.2 percent to 1,307 at 8:32 a.m. in New York. Dow futures advanced 26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,244.

Jobless claims fell by 1,000 to 428,000 in the week ended June 25, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 420,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments declined.

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday after Greece passed an austerity package needed to avoid default and as the Federal Reserve relaxed restrictions on debit-card transaction fees, sending Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. up more than 11 percent.

The Dow average has fallen 2.5 percent in June through yesterday amid concern about Europe’s debt crisis and weaker- than-expected economic data. Over the last century, the 30-stock gauge had an average gain of 1.4 percent in July, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group. On average, the Dow has returned 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, over the last 50 years and 20 years, the data showed.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou must today win a second ballot to execute measures ranging from tax increases to asset sales. A debate on the second stage of the austerity package resumed today in Athens. Germany’s biggest banks and insurers and the government have agreed on a draft proposal to roll over Greek debt holdings, people familiar with the plan said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joanna Ossinger at jossinger@bloomberg.net


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