Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Erase Drop After Initial Jobless Claims Fall

February 02, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures erased declines after initial jobless claims decreased more than forecast, bolstering optimism in the economy a day before the government’s monthly employment data.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March climbed less than 0.1 percent to 1,320.2 at 8:31 a.m. in New York after slipping as much as 0.2 percent earlier.

Applications for unemployment insurance payments dropped by

12,000 to 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 371,000.

The S&P 500 has rallied 21 percent from its 2011 low in October amid signs that the U.S. economy was weathering Europe’s debt crisis. Government data tomorrow is forecast by economists to show the U.S. added 145,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.5 percent.

Benchmark gauges yesterday snapped a four-day decline amid signs that manufacturing across the world is strengthening. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above its highest closing level since May during the day, before paring gains.

Earnings beat projections at 66 percent of the 211 companies in the S&P 500 that reported quarterly results since Jan. 9, the data show. Profits probably grew 4.6 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The projection has fallen from 6.2 percent at the end of last year.

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


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