The market continued its slide after Tuesday's release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting and an uneasy Spanish bond auction, and now we look to some hints at unemployment figures with today's initial and continuing claims reports. Here's a breakdown on what these reports could mean for the overall Dow Jones Industrial Average
Initial claims, which tracks the number of people filing for jobless benefits, were reported at 359,000 last week. This week, the market expects these claims to be a hair lower, at 355,000. For continuing claims, the market expects a small increase to 3.36 million, over last week's 3.34 million. Looking at the average jobless claims over the past decade, the country trends toward pre-recession lows:
These reports are a prelude to tomorrow's employment report, which is expected to show an unchanged unemployment rate of 8.3%. Because of the Good Friday holiday tomorrow, any market reaction to the employment report will be seen on Monday. With little positive news expected from either report, investors will have to look elsewhere for news to bolster the market sentiment.
Also leading the losses was Alcoa
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