Stocks Gain Ground After Disappointing Initial Jobless Claims Report

U.S. has just released Initial Jobless Claims and Continuing Jobless Claims reports. Initial Jobless Claims report indicated that 362,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in a week compared to analyst consensus of 335,000. Continuing Jobless Claims declined from 2.82 million (revised from 2.85 million) to 2.8 million.

U.S. has also released the final reading of the second-quarter GDP Growth Rate report which indicated that GDP grew by 6.7% quarter-over-quarter compared to analyst consensus which called for growth of 6.6%.

S&P 500 futures are gaining ground after the release of these reports, and it looks that disappointing Initial Jobless Claims numbers may provide some support to stocks as traders remain focused on the outlook for Fed’s asset purchase program.

WTI Oil Moves Back To The $74 Level As Crude Inventories Rise
Yesterday, EIA released its Weekly Petroleum Status Report which indicated that crude inventories increased by 4.6 million barrels while analysts expected that they would decline by 1.66 million barrels. The surprising increase put additional pressure on WTI oil which was already hit by profit-taking near yearly highs. As a result, WTI oil moved back to the $74 level.

The report also indicated that U.S. domestic production increased from 10.6 million barrels per day (bpd) to 11.1 million bpd. Domestic production has finally managed to recover from the blow dealt by the hurricanes, which is bearish for oil.

U.S. Dollar’s Rally Continues
The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the U.S. dollar against a broad basket of currencies, has settled above the resistance at 94.20 and made an attempt to settle above 94.50.

The U.S. dollar stays strong as traders bet that Fed will soon have to cut its asset purchase program as inflation remains elevated due to high commodity prices and problems in the global supply chain.

Interestingly, stronger dollar did not put pressure on gold and silver today, and it looks that some traders have decided to use the recent pullback as an opportunity to buy precious metals at lower levels.

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