We continue to get nuggets of positive information out of the jobs market, and investors are becoming more hopeful that tomorrow's jobs report will help drive stocks for the next month. Today, we found out that new jobless claims fell to 324,000, the lowest level we've seen in five years. Companies are clearly laying off fewer workers this year. The only problem is that they don't seem eager to hire new workers. Investors took the latest report as good news ahead of tomorrow's numbers, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has shot 0.88% higher near the end of trading, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is up 0.96%.
Tomorrow morning the Department of Labor will tell us how many jobs were added in April. Analysts are expecting 145,000 additional jobs and a flat unemployment rate of 7.6%.
The unemployment news, along with an announcement that the ECB will lower interest rates to 0.5%, has pushed oil 3.1% higher today. In turn, Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) is up 1.6% today, while ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) is 1.1% higher on hope that demand will increase. Demand for oil in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe has actually fallen over the past few years as the ongoing European recession hurt demand and more efficient vehicles hit the road. If lower interest rates can help Europe return to growth, it could have a big impact on the global demand for oil, which would be good for oil prices and, of course, producers like Chevron and ExxonMobil.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) has ascended 1.1% after company's board of directors reportedly approved an update to the 777 aircraft. Airbus recently announced a $6 billion order for the competing A350-1000 for $6 billion, and Boeing will respond by redesigning the 777. The new jet wouldn't be ready until about 2020, but Boeing could begin taking orders soon. Now that the 787 is back in the air, engineers can focus on the next task, and management has chosen the 777.
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