Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) and the S&P 500 are up this morning following some mixed economic news -- and an embarrassing Twitter episode for JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) in which the big bank tried to use the social-media outlet to solicit questions about careers but instead received a slew of nasty tweets.
The Department of Labor published its seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims data earlier today, showing a decrease of 2,000 for last week to 339,000. That's down from the prior week's revised figure of 341,000 but higher than analyst expectations of 330,000.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed some improvement, with an upward tilt in consumer confidence for the first time in nearly two months perhaps showing the effects of the October government shutdown finally beginning to wane.
For today, all eyes will be on Janet Yellen as she begins confirmation hearings on her nomination for the position of chair of the Federal Reserve. According to Bloomberg, there have been no surprises yet, as Yellen reiterated her commitment to quantitative easing for an economy that is still ailing from the effects of the financial crisis.
Backlash causes JPMorgan Chase to cancel PR program
JPMorgan Chase is in the news today, but not because of its onerous legal problems. In a somewhat humorous PR campaign gone bad, the big bank attempted to host a Twitter chat with one of its star deal-makers, soliciting queries via its #ASKJPM hashtag. Unfortunately for the bank, the whole shebang wound up getting canceled as a tidal wave of hateful comments, rather than serious questions, were lobbed at the bank. The big bank took it in stride, announcing on Twitter that the program was a "bad idea."
The bank's investors don't seem upset, either. Shortly after noon, JPMorgan Chase has climbed out of negative territory and is at breakeven.