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Futures jumpy after jobless claims

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Stock futures have been up, then down, then up again this morning after today's release of jobless claims for the week ending December 29th. This morning's jobless data shows that first time claims for unemployment benefits rose 36,000 to 447,000, which marks the first time this number has risen for two consecutive weeks since mid-October. Economists had expected jobless claims closer to 386,000. The four-week moving average, which irons out the weekly volatility, actually fell by 8,250 to 409,750. The 4- week moving average is now approaching a four month low.

The number of Americans who continue to receive benefits each week rose by 42,000 to 3.72 million, the highest level in six weeks.

While many economists have been willing to suggest the worst of the layoffs have come and gone for the U.S. economy, today's data show many uncertainties in the labor market still remain.

Before this morning's jobless data, stock futures were in the green. Immediately following the release, stock futures dipped into negative territory, but as the opening of stock trading approaches, we're seeing S&P futures trade unchanged, NASDAQ futures are trading higher by 9 points, while Dow futures are down 5 points.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $1.37. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $3.06 and set for program selling at $0.08. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $6.25.

Large cap tech seeing some gains

In pre-market trading we're seeing some upside in big tech names. Networking giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) is trading up 32 cents at $19.55, semiconductor bellwether Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is higher by 40 cents at $33.35 and software behemoth Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading up 10 cents at $67.14.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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