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

Markets Surge at Opening

Unemployment at nearly 9 percent? No problem, Wall Street says, at least at opening today.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up 117 points, or about 1.3 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is up nearly 1.5 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 1.2 percent.

The government released the most recent U.S. unemployment figure this morning, showing that known unemployment now stands at a rate of 8.9 percent.

We say "known" because, as we always mention, the government does not include unemployed people who have given up looking for work, so the actual number of unemployed is higher by some unknown number.

Unemployment now stands at its highest rate since 1983. But it is considered a lagging indicator by economists, meaning that it is a reflection of where the economy is now and has been rather than where it is going.

Some 5.7 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007.

The fact that employers, in April, trimmed the fewest jobs since December was cheered by the markets this morning.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 8, 2009; 9:52 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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