The Dow Jones Industrial Average
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||+123.13 [0.96%]||12,904.08|
Widespread unemployment has been a continuous challenge for the U.S. economy the past few years. Unemployment hit a high of 10% in October 2009, and has only been slowly coming back. Today’s news was that the number of new claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 348,000 last week. This is the lowest level since March of 2008 and was better than analyst expectations of 365,000. Overall claims for unemployment insurance fell by 100,000 to 3.4 million, the lowest level since August of 2008.
The other piece of good news which boosted the market today came from the housing sector. Housing starts rose 1.5% last month to an annual rate of nearly 700,000 units. While slightly less than expected, the data showed strength in the renters market, as multi-family homes were the driver of the growth with an 8.5% gain. In the largest segment of the housing market, single-family homes, construction actually fell by 1%. Economists believe the strength in the market is related to the unusually warm winter the country is having.
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Fool contributor Dan Dzombak holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.