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Initial Weekly Claims Rise 13,000

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increases by a more- than-expected 13,000 last week according to a labor department report.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased by a more-than-expected 13,000 last week according to a labor department report released early Thursday.

Initial weekly claims rose to 462,000 in the week ended Oct. 9. The Labor Department also revised upward the previous week's figure to 449,000 from 445,000. Analysts were expecting initial claims to rise by 5,000 to 450,000, according to consensus estimates from

Briefing.com

.

The number of people filing continuing claims -- those who have been receiving unemployment insurance for at least a week -- decreased to 4.399 million for the week ended Oct.2 , a decrease of 112,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 4.511 million. That was better than consensus estimates that projected only a slight drop to 4.450 million.

The

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average

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, the

SPDR S&P 500 ETF

(SPY) - Get Report

and the

PowerShares QQQ

(QQQQ)

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were rising 0.1%, 0.3 and 0.2% respectively.

The market is watching the jobs number more closely than ever as is the

Federal Reserve

. The continuing disappointments in the jobs numbers may prompt the Fed to initiate another round of quantitative easing sooner rather than later.

The 4-week moving average in initial claims, which smoothes the volatility in week-to-week reports, was 459,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 456,750. The 4-week moving average in continuing claims was 4.488 million, a decrease of 34,500 from the preceding week's average of 4.523 million.

Last week the government said the economy shed 95,000 jobs in September, disappointing analysts who expected the nonfarm payroll number to be largely unchanged. Private growth showed only a modest improvement, signaling that companies were still reluctant to hire amid greater uncertainty.

-- Written by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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