Your move, Ben Bernanke. Less than 24 hours after the Federal Reserve chairman indicated that the Fed would act if it did not see improvements in the labor market, a higher-than-forecast number of jobless claims were filed last week, Labor Department figures revealed today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Although jobless claims did decrease by approximately 2,000 from the previous week, the four-week average hit a high not seen since December 2011, and the less-than-expected improvement showed that the economy is weaker than previously believed. Perhaps more troubling, though, is the news out of the manufacturing sector. The Philadelphia branch of the Fed reported a sharp reduction in manufacturing, and financial information firm Markit revealed that its U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index fell to its lowest level since July 2011, which signals a slowed rate of expansion.
A couple of stocks in particular weighed down the Dow after the first two hours of trading.
That's the morning roundup. Make sure to add these companies to your free My Watchlist feature to get up-to-date analysis whenever news breaks. To get started, click on any company below:
Will Chavey owns no shares of the companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Intel, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended writing covered calls on Lowe's, as well as creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.