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US Indexes Mixed to Lower; Weekly Jobless Claims Top 400,000

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Stocks are pulling back from a strong prior-session as weekly jobless claims increase more than expected. Still another gauge released this morning showed manufacturing activity increased last month.

The Institute for Supply Management said the manufacturing index rose 52.7% in November from 50.8% the month before. A survey by MarketWatch had pegged the data at 52%.

Also this morning, spending on construction projects in the U.S. rose 0.8% in October, putting the seasonally adjusted rate at $798.5 billion. That was above analysts' expectations of a 0.3% gain.

In the latest weekly employment data, new applications for unemployment benefits rose last week by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch has expected new requests for jobless benefits to total 393,000 in the week ended Nov. 26. Claims in the prior week were revised up to 396,000 from an original reading of 393,000.

The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, increased by 500 to 395,750. Continuing claims climbed by 35,000, to 3.74 million and a total of 7.01 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended Nov 12.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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