This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Jobless Claims Bounce Back Up

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- More Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the first week of the year than economists expected.

The Labor Department's weekly read on initial jobless claims rose by 24,000 to 399,000. The latest report was a disappointment given that claims had been coming in more comfortably below the 400,000 mark in recent weeks. According to a poll by Thomson Reuters, analysts were looking for 375,000. The prior week's figure was upwardly revised to 375,000 from 372,000.

Hope was building that the recovery in the U.S. jobs market might pick up pace and that claims would continue to decline.

"We are pretty confident that the underlying trend in claims is now declining again, as fears of a consumer meltdown have faded since the fall, but anything can happen in any given week," wrote Ian Sheperdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, before Thursday's report. "By the end of the first quarter, though, we expect to see the trend established below 350,000."

The recent read in claims opens up the question of whether improvements seen recently are due to seasonal factors, such as temporary improvement in the jobs market around the holiday season.

However, Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics said that one shouldn't read too much into the rebound in claims. "There are always problems in seasonally adjusting the weekly data around the turn of the year," he said. "As it stands at the moment, the trend in claims remains downwards."

"We'll dismiss claims as part of the seasonal volatility, but do ponder if we're seeing layoffs post-holiday hiring," wrote David Ader, strategist with CRT Capital, in response to the government's report.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Chao Deng.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: @chao_deng

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,055.87 -116.81 -0.68%
S&P 500 1,982.77 -11.52 -0.58%
NASDAQ 4,508.6880 -19.0010 -0.42%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs