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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Ahead Of The Bell: US Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits likely stabilized last week after seasonal factors distorted the previous two weeks.

Economists forecast that weekly applications dropped by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, according to a survey by FactSet. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

The department said last week that applications jumped 46,000 to 388,000, the highest level since July. The increase followed a sharp drop in the previous week.

The Labor Department cautioned that the two weeks were affected by technical factors. Normally, many applicants delay filing for benefits until the start of a quarter because doing so can produce larger checks. But California didn't experience the expected jump until the second week of the quarter, which distorted the previous two weeks figures.

A more reliable gauge, the four-week average, ticked up to 365,500. That's a level consistent with modest hiring.

When they consistently fall below 375,000, it typically indicates that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

Layoffs have also fallen to pre-recession levels in the past three years. But overall hiring is still modest. Employers are hesitant to add more workers as long as growth remains tepid and Europe's financial crisis threatens to push that region into recession.

The weak job market has been a key topic in this year's presidential election, which is down to its final days. Voters will have one final employment report to consider, which comes out four days before Election Day.

There have been some signs that the economy is improving.

The unemployment rate fell in September to 7.8 percent. That's the lowest level since January 2009 â¿¿ President Barack Obama's first month in office. The rate fell because a government survey of households found a huge increase in the number of people who had jobs. Still, a jump in part-time employment accounted for most of the gain.

1 of 2

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 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

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