Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Gains After Jobless Claims Data

October 06, 2011

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures maintained gains after initial jobless claims trailed economists’ estimates last week.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.4 percent to 1,139.7 at 8:31 a.m. in New York.

Applications for jobless benefits increased by 6,000 in the

week ended Oct. 1 to 401,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists projected 410,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The monthly average dropped to the lowest level since the end of August.

Earlier gains in futures came as European leaders discussed recapitalizing struggling banks. The European Commission is “proposing to have a coordinated action to recapitalize banks,” Jose Barroso, the body’s president, said in a video question-and-answer session.

U.S. stocks rallied yesterday, sending the S&P 500 to its biggest two-day gain in more than a month, as economic data topped estimates and investors speculated Europe will act to contain the region’s debt crisis.

Wall Street strategists say the S&P 500, after falling within 1 percent of a bear market this week, will post the biggest fourth-quarter rally in 13 years even after they cut forecasts at a rate exceeded only during the credit crisis.

Analysts from Oppenheimer & Co. to UBS AG and Barclays Plc say equities will rebound from a decline of 19 percent since April as policy makers prevent a default by Greece and profit in the S&P 500 climb to $95.85 a share in 2011. Europe’s worsening debt crisis and the U.S. government’s loss of its AAA credit rating led strategists to cut their S&P 500 forecast in the past two months from an average level of 1,401.

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


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