Initial jobless claims fell to 427,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, a period shortened by the Veterans Day holiday, the Labor Department said. The number was down from a marginally revised 442,000 the prior week. It was also the lowest since 393,000 in the Sept. 15 week. In other economic news, the final reading for the University of Michigan's November consumer sentiment came in at 83.9, better than the preliminary level of 83.5 and October's 82.7. Standard & Poor's MMS notes that overall, sentiment has firmed up in recent weeks -- but it is still is barely above the September low point of 81.8, which implies that the ongoing weakness in the economy and deteriorating conditions in the labor market are capping consumer optimism.