Stocks Gain Ground As Initial Jobless Claims Decline

by Warrior2

Better-than-expected employment reports push stocks higher.

Initial Jobless Claims Decline To 779,000

The U.S. has just provided Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports. The Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week. Analysts expected Initial Jobless Claims of 830,000. Meanwhile, Continuing Jobless Claims decreased from 4.79 million to 4.59 million compared to analyst consensus of 4.7 million.

Yesterday, ADP Employment Change report showed that private businesses hired 174,000 workers in January. The recent employment reports highlighted the recovery in the job market which should provide additional support to the stock market.

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Not surprisingly, S&P 500 futures are gaining ground in premarket trading after the release of better-than-expected employment reports.Advertisement

Precious Metals Remain Under Pressure

Gold and silver found themselves under pressure as speculative traders who were attracted by short squeeze plays in shares of silver miners continued to exit their positions.

Shares of silver miners like First Majestic Silver and Pan American Silver have already lost plenty of ground in recent trading sessions, but the continuation of the downside move in the silver market may put them under additional pressure.

The U.S. dollar is currently gaining ground against a broad basket of currencies, and the U.S. Dollar Index is trying to get to the test of the resistance at 91.50. The current upside move is driven by the weakness of the euro which is under pressure due to the problems of the EU economy. If the U.S. dollar continues to move higher, gold and silver will likely face more pressure.

Oil Tries To Settle Above The $56 Level

The recent EIA Weekly Petroleum Status report indicated that crude inventories declined by 1 million barrels and provided additional support to the oil market. While EIA data showed a smaller decrease compared to the API estimate, the continuation of the downside trend still served as a bullish catalyst for oil.

Importantly, the U.S. domestic oil production remained at 10.9 million barrels per day (bpd) despite rising oil prices. If the U.S. production stays at current levels, crude inventories will continue to decline as demand is increasing, which is bullish for oil and oil-related stocks.

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