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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Unemployment Figures Drive Markets Down At Opening

Wall Street opened down this morning, as the market reacts to higher-than-expected unemployment numbers from last week and larger-than-predicted growth in the trade deficit.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down about 118 points, or 1.3 percent.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are both down more than 1 percent.

More people hit the unemployment line last week than at any time since 1982, according to Labor Department figures released this morning.

Initial applications for jobless benefits last week rose to 573,000 from 515,000. Economists expected the number to rise to 525,000.

Even though it's the highest number in 26 years, the U.S. labor force has grown significantly since then, so there are more people to be in-work and out-of-work in 2008.

The global recession is reducing demand for U.S. products overseas, widening the trade gap. The deficit with China reached an all-time high in October, the Commerce Department reported today.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 11, 2008; 9:46 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: China, trade, unemployment  
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