The U.S. Department of Labor reported a slight improvement in the continuously unsteady job market, with 19,000 fewer initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending June 19, down from the previous week’s figure of 476,000. The four week moving average for seasonally adjusted claims was 462,750, a slight decrease from the previous week.
These mildly hopeful indicators weren’t enough to deliver a meaningful boost to stock index futures, however, which pointed to a lower open. The negative outlook reflected concern that the European debt crisis has not fully run its course, and that fiscal and structural problems will once again rear their head in Greece, Spain or another euro-zone nation, said Bloomberg News.
European indexes headed down, which helped push U.S. futures down in tandem. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Index were down 109 points, while S&P 500 futures were down 12.9 points and the Nasdaq 100 index was down 22.25 points.
Stock markets did not show much change after the Federal Reserve’s widely-expected announcement yesterday that it would maintain its target interest rate of 0 to .25 percent until next year, reflecting fears that any increase could derail economic recovery.
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