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

Stocks broadly down at opening

Wall Street opened in a broad sell-off this morning, following a downturn in overseas markets and an uptick in the value of the dollar.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 1 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is down 1.3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 1.5 percent.

The markets are ignoring encouraging news from last week's new jobless claims report out this morning.

New jobless claims filed last week were flat compared with the week before, the government said in data released this morning, giving hope to those who believe that unemployment is beginning to crest.

New claims filed last week came in at 505,000, the same as the previous week's revised numbers. The four-week moving average fell for the 11th straight week.

New claims have to fall into the low 400,000s in order for the economy to actually start adding jobs. Nevertheless, the number of jobless Americans receiving continuing claims fell about 40,000 last week to about 5.6 million.

Congress has extended unemployment benefits four times during this recession. In the hardest-hit states, benefits can last 99 weeks.

The official U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent in October.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 19, 2009; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, jobless claims, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Next: Current economic situation: A look backward, and ahead


From the West Coast, Wall Street looks like a bunch of friends, sharing the spoils of plunder, and is increasingly irrelevant to business.

We seem to be transitioning into some new configuation for financing ventures. I hope we get there before we crash and burn.

Posted by: blindspots | November 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

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