US new jobless claims fall

US stocks rise on better-than-expected figures and strong bank financial results.

    Summers said jobless numbers could still rise despite better weekly figures [GALLO/GETTY] 

    "I don't think we can hold out the prospect that unemployment would stabilise at the current level," Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council which advises Barack Obama, the US president, said in Washington DC.

    "Unemployment lags a little bit what happens to real economic activity."

    Stocks rally

    The US commerce department said the country's trade deficit shrank by 28.3 per cent in February to $26bn, its lowest level since November 1999, driven fall in imports in the US and an unexpected rebound in exports.

    Economists, who had expected the deficit to widen slightly in February, said the figure, combined with the job data, could indicate that the US economy's downward spiral may be easing.

    US stocks rallied following the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking the 8,000 point marker by two per cent to hit 8000.62 points in mid-morning trading.

    Wall Street was also buoyed by better than expected projected quarterly profits for the first financial quarter from US bank Wells Fargo, who said it made $3bn.

    The news fuelled market hopes that stabilisation might be returning to the fragile banking sector.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.