Unemployment figures rose slightly, which didn’t help investor sentiment

(AXcess News) New York – The last thing investors needed to hear is that the job market was growing weaker, though today’s jobless claims report was hardly earth-shattering news. Still an increase in jobless claims did effect the market.
In the week ending January 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 368, 000, an increase of 38, 000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 330, 000. The 4-week moving average was 352, 000, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 351, 750.

Consumer sentiment, reported earlier this week, is also down and most likely affected investor sentiment today when the jobless figures were released.

Retail sales forecast for 2013, released on Monday, also showed a slowing effect on consumer spending, which when combined with stagnant jobless data and an overall outlook towards the U.S. economy by consumers is a receipe for a flat stock market as well.

The S&P 500 gave up 3.85 basis points to close at 1, 498 and the NASDAQ finished down marginally for a 0.18 loss at 3, 142.

The benchmark 10-year treasury bond fell 0.021, or 1.05%, to yield 1.985. Gold dropped 17.20 to $1, 664.40 and oil lost 44 cents, or 0.45%, to close at 97.50.

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Alan Fein

Alan Fein is a versatile old-school business writer, who covers a range of business-related news, especially when it relates to finance.