Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Gains as Unemployment Claims Drop

February 09, 2012

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures maintained gains as jobless claims unexpectedly declined last week, indicating the labor market recovery is gaining traction.

S&P 500 futures expiring in March rose 0.1 percent to 1,348.60 at 8:34 a.m. New York time.

Applications for jobless benefits decreased 15,000 in the week ended Feb. 4 to 358,000, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure of claims, declined to 366,250, the lowest since April 26, 2008.

Stock-futures reversed earlier losses as Greek politicians were said to reach an austrerity deal needed to secure a bailout package. A statement on Greece’s austerity deal is expected shortly, an unnamed government official said by telephone.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Sutherland at jsutherlan13@bloomberg.net


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