NEW YORK (Reuters) - New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, bouncing back above the key 400,000 level, a government report showed on Thursday.
U.S. core producer prices rose slightly faster than expected in March and the increase from a year ago was the largest since August 2009, pointing to a broadening in pipeline inflation pressures.
BRIAN LAZORISHAK, PORTFOLIO MANAGER AT CHASE INVESTMENT COUNSEL IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA
"Claims were certainly higher than what people were looking for. We've been trending under 400,000 lately, so this seems like a negative. But at the same time, I'd view it as one data point, and a data point that is volatile from week to week. However, one of the positives we've had in the past year is continued, albeit slow, improvement in the jobs picture, so any setback there will be discouraging.
"The initial focus today will be more on earnings and the worldwide growth and inflation issues, but this number could add some negative bias and create additional selling pressure."
VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS:
"The number of people initially filing for unemployment benefits rose to 412,000 in the week ending April 9 -- reflecting an increase of 27k from the week prior.
"Now resembling a level closer to the beginning of the year when seasonal volatility impaired readings (January had an average of 427k, today's number is not what the market was expecting and sure to initiate a witch hunt for the culprit --likely commentary surrounding higher energy prices forcing businesses toward layoffs.
"A more subtle explanation is the fact seasonals (expecting a 17 percent rise and ended up with 25 percent) underestimated the effect of adjusting to a new quarter which affects filing behavior. For starters, claimants will delay filing in hopes of receiving better benefits referencing a more recent, higher paycheck -- in accordance with local guidelines.
"Today's report, encompassing the first full week of April, is more associated with this behavior than commodity prices."
STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures add to losses.
BONDS: U.S. bond prices extend gains.
FOREX: The dollar extends losses versus the yen.