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Stocks trade in tight range as jobless claims fall

Stocks trade in tight range as jobless claims fall

The stock market zigzagged in a tight range on the last day of the year as weekly unemployment claims fell to the lowest level since July 2008.
The welcome news about unemployment Thursday came as investors looked to wrap up a strong year for the market. Markets are closed Friday.
The Labor Department said new claims for unemployment benefits fell by 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000 last week. Analysts had expected claims would rise to 460,000.
The number of U.S. workers continuing to seek unemployment benefits fell by 57,000 to 4.9 million. Analysts predicted an increase.
Trading is expected to remain quiet as investors await the arrival of 2010 to draw clues about the direction of the markets. Many investors are away for the holidays and trading volume has been light.
The Dow Jones industrial average has moved in a range of fewer than 70 points for the past six days. The last time the index traded in such a tight range for as many days was November 1996.
The subdued trading comes as many investors have closed their books on a big year for stocks. The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 24.7 percent for the year, the strongest performance since 2003. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index is up 45.3 percent.
In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.65, or 0.1 percent, to 10,541.86. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 0.13, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,126.55, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 0.09, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,291.37.
Most bond prices fell, pushing yields higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.85 percent from 3.79 percent late Wednesday.
The dollar was mostly lower against other major currencies, while gold rose.


Updated : 2020-12-04 19:25 GMT+08:00