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Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Little Changed After Jobless Claims Increase

December 01, 2011

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures remained little changed after initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased, tempering optimism about the employment market a day before the government’s monthly jobs report.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring this month slipped less than 0.1 percent to 1,244.9 at 8:30 a.m. in New York.

Jobless claims climbed by 6,000 to 402,000 in the week ended Nov. 26 that included the Thanksgiving holiday, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 43 economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 390,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments increased.

The S&P 500 rose 4.3 percent yesterday, trimming its year- to-date decline to less than 1 percent, as six central banks made it cheaper for lenders to borrow in dollars to ease funding strains triggered by Europe’s debt crisis.

Yesterday’s rally was the ninth time since the beginning of 2010 that the S&P 500 rallied more than 3 percent in one day, according to data compiled by Birinyi Associates Inc. Following similar gains, the measure has fallen six out of eight previous instances when the market opened, the data showed.

The S&P 500 is trading at 11.5 times forecast earnings for 2012, compared with its long-term average of 16.7 times reported profits in data going back to 1954, as concern that Europe’s debt crisis will halt the global economic recovery overshadows projections for record profits.

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

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