Initial Claims Fall to 377K Last Week; Traders Eye Bernanke, Chinese Rate Cut

June 7, 2012 10:35 AM EDT
Americans filing for jobless benefits fell last week as a recent two-month hiring slowdown appears to have ebbed slightly, with worries over European debt issues and the possible exit for Greece from the euro continuing.

According to data from the U.S. Labor Department, first-time filers for unemployment insurance dipped 12,000 to 377,000 for the week ended June 2nd. The number is down from a revised-higher 389,000 readout realized the prior week.

Analysts were looking for a drop of 378,000.

The four-week moving average of claims rose 1,750 to 377,750. Continuing claims increased 34,000 for the week ended May 26th to 3.29 million.

Americans on emergency benefits dropped 105,000 to 2.83 million for the week ended May 19th.

Traders will be reminded of the 69,000 jobs added in May, which was the fewest added in a year. April's readout was 77,000, also on the tepid side. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 point to 8.2 percent in May.

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is testifying in front of a congressional panel Thursday, which may give more indications of whether more monetary easing would be enforced, adding a boost to markets. Many U.S. equities are seeing a jump from The People's Bank of China one-year lending rate cut announced earlier. The drop, by 0.25 points, is the first since late 2008.

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