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David Becker

US stocks moved higher and accelerated into the close, as Wednesday’s selloff did not experience much follow-through. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were higher, led by financials and energy, Utilities bucked the trend. The banks popped on news that the FCIC would loosen some of the regulations put in place during the financial crisis. Banks have lagged the broader markets but could play catch up with an impetus like today’s announcement. The S&P 5090 index rose 1% and so did the Nasdaq and the Dow. The best performer was The Russell 200 which increased by 1.7%.

Jobless claims came out larger than expected but it appears that there is some deceleration in new claims. Durable goods orders jumped more than expected to show that consumers are purchasing goods that will last at least 3-years. The VIX volatility index whipsawed and closed lower hovering near the 31% level.

Jobless Claims Rise More than Expected

US Jobless claims increased by 1.48 million last week according to the Labor Department. Expectations were for claims to rise by 1.35 million claims. While the weekly numbers remained high and were worse than estimates for the second straight week, the total of those receiving benefits continued to fall. Continuing claims fell by 767,000 to 19.52 million.

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Durable Goods Orders Rise More than Expected

Durable Goods Orders jumped 15.8% last month, according to the Commerce Department. Expectations were for orders than last more than 3-years to increase by 10.3%. This followed an 18% drop in April and a 17% drop in March. The rebound in manufacturing and other key parts of the economy suggests the U.S. output may be on the mend.

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