Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Little Changed After Jobless Claims

September 01, 2011

Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures were little changed following a four-day rally in American equities as jobless claims decreased and investors awaited a report that may show manufacturing shrank for the first time in two years.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring this month fell 0.1 percent to 1,216.00 at 8:34 a.m. in New York after sliding 0.8 percent earlier.

Jobless claims fell by 12 to 409,000 in the week ended Aug.27, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a drop to 410,000, according to the median forecast.

Stocks climbed yesterday, capping the S&P 500’s biggest eight-day gain since 2009, after reports showed that U.S. business activity and factory orders expanded at a faster pace than economists had forecast. The gains helped the S&P 500 trim its August decline to 5.7 percent, still the biggest monthly selloff since May 2010.

The S&P 500 plunged 18 percent from an almost three-year high on April 29 through Aug. 8 as concern grew that the world’s largest economy may relapse into a recession and Europe will fail to contain its debt crisis. The retreat was led by companies whose earnings are most-sensitive to the economy, including financial firms, industrial manufacturers and energy and raw-materials producers.

The index rebounded 8.9 percent from Aug. 8 through yesterday after the plunge dragged its valuation to 12.2 times the reported earnings of its companies, the cheapest level since the bull market began in 2009. Gauges of S&P 500 utilities, commodity producers, health-care companies and financials firms rallied more than 10 percent to lead the recovery, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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