“Stocks fell sharply Thursday after an unexpected spike in jobless claims and as global jitters pushed the dollar higher.” (via CNBC)

More flesh put on the bone by The Washington Post:

New jobless claims filed last week rose by 25,000 to 471,000, the government reported moments ago, defying predictions that they would drop. It’s the largest rise in three months.

The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, rose 3,000 to 453,500.

The official U.S. unemployment rate in April was 9.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent in March. But 290,000 new jobs were added to payrolls, encouraging those who believe a recovery is underway.

Today’s news is less encouraging. Economists say that substantial new job creation won’t happen until the new weekly jobless claims number gets down into the low 400,000s or upper 300,000s and stays there. Right now, it remains frustratingly stuck in the mid-400,000s.

Brilliant minds are thinking, right now, how to spin this as a good thing. Why don’t we just call it a “breakthrough month“?

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