U.S. stocks fall on downbeat jobs data

13:54, August 06, 2010      

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U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, pressured by a government report which showed an unexpected pick- up in initial jobless claims.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that the number of people filing jobless benefits unexpected rose to 479,000 last week, while economists were expecting a modest drop.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits have been wobbling around 450,000 throughout the year, showing employers were still reluctant to hire amid "unusually uncertain" economic outlook.

The weekly data came one day before the Labor Department released its monthly non-farm payrolls data, which is especially watched by investors. Economists were expecting the report to show that private employers added 90,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in June.

Most investors believe that the lack of job creation is the biggest obstacle toward a sustainable economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 28.30 points, or 0.26 percent, to 10,652.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.84 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,123.40 and the Nasdaq was down 11.52 points, or 0.50 percent, to 2,292.05.



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