BUSINESS US stocks flat as jobless claims fall

BUSINESS

US stocks flat as jobless claims fall

AFP

22:27, August 13, 2020

Wall Street stocks were little changed early Thursday as the level of new US unemployment claims moderated while Washington talks remain stuck on new stimulus spending.

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File photo: Agencies

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 27,946.28, down 0.1 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.1 percent at 3,382.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5 percent to 11,071.22.

US data showed 963,000 new weekly claims for unemployment benefits, the first reading below one million since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March.

The better-than-expected data "suggests that the jobs recovery is regaining some momentum but with a staggering 28 million workers still claiming some form of jobless benefits, much labor market progress remains to be done," said Oxford Economics.

But markets were also digesting the lack of progress on talks on a new fiscal spending package to support the coronavirus-ravaged US economy -- uncertainty that also weighed on the dollar.

"The longer wait for an aid package is causing more dollar-negative clouds to gather over America's economic horizon," said a note from Western Union Business Solutions.

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