Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Trim Gains After Jobless Claims Data

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures trimmed gains after claims remained at a level that shows little improvement in the labor market.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December climbed 0.4 percent to 1,211.2 at 8:33 a.m. in New York after rising as much as 0.8 percent earlier.

Jobless claims dropped by 6,000 to 403,000 in the week ended Oct. 15, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 400,000 applications. The four-week average

fell to the lowest level since April.

Earlier gains in futures followed better-than-estimated earnings and new details about plans to enhance the European bailout fund, including a potential boost to credit lines for some of the region’s most-indebted nations.

U.S. stocks dropped yesterday after France and Germany split on the role of the European Central Bank in leveraging the

European Financial Stability Facility, the region’s rescue fund.

The euro area’s finance ministers, under pressure to craft a solution to their region’s debt crisis, meet in Brussels tomorrow before a full summit two days later.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at

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