The Motley Fool Previous Page

Jobless Claims Send the Dow Higher Again

Jeremy Bowman
March 14, 2013

Based on the strength of today's unemployment claims report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) started off strong and held a steady line for the day's session, finishing up 0.6%, or 84 points, to close at 14,539. It was the first time the Dow broke 14,500, and the blue chips' tenth consecutive day of gains. The S&P 500, meanwhile, closed just two points away from its all-time closing high, finishing at 1,563, up 0.6% or nine points. Trading was light, as it has been all week, on relatively little news.

Initial unemployment claims continued to decline, falling to 332,000 last week, significantly below economist expectations of 350,000. The four-week moving average, generally seen as a more accurate indicator of the job market, fell to 346,750, its lowest level in five years, indicating the labor market and the overall economy are continuing to improve.

After gaining 1.7% during the day, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) shares were off 2% after hours after a Se