Surprise Jump in Initial Claims

I talked about the downtrend for initial claims on Fast Money last night (video later).  This morning we got a report with a surprising jump higher in the level of new unemployment claims – the highest in 6 months…

From the AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are headed for a lower opening after the government said more people are applying for unemployment benefits.

The Labor Department said 445,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up from a revised total of 410,000 the previous week. It was the highest level since late October. Many retailers eliminated temporary holiday workers, driving the increase.

I’ll be watching to see how much of the bank rally from yesterday gets rolled back on this report.  Will they let $C keep its over-5 perch?  Can $BAC maintain 15?

Also worth noting, both S&P and Moodys issued reports overnight warning the US about its credit rating.  Saber-rattling?  Yup, but still a powerful enough meme to temper those running around the equity markets at full tilt.

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