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Rise in weekly jobless claims bolsters bonds

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Treasuries are seeing buying again this morning after the Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims for the week ending April 12 rose by 30,000 to 442,000, which was well above economists forecast of 410,000. The latest week's data had the four-week moving average rising to an 11-month high, rising by 3,500 to 424,750. Labor officials said that layoffs in the auto industry had a much larger negative impact in the latest week.

The number of Americans who remained on benefits for the week ended April 5 rose by 76,000 to 3.574 million, which had the four-week average of continuous claims rising by 9,750 to 3.525 million, the highest since November 23. The insured unemployment rate held steady at 2.8%.

This mornings jobless data has found strong buying across the major maturities with the 5-year June futures contract (fv03m) $113'045 +0.13% gaining 5/32, the longer dated 30-year June futures contract (us03m) $112'200 +0.41% gaining 15/32 and the 10-year June futures contract (ty03m) $114'175 +0.19% rising 7/32, with the benchmark 10-year YIELD falling to 3.907%.

While this morning's economic data has had stock futures pulling back from their morning highs, but still holding fractional gains as shares of Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) $14.05 are rising to $15.30 in pre-market trade after posting a gain in quarterly revenue overnight.

AMR Corp.s (NYSE:AMR) $4.10, parent of American Airlines is jumping to $5.27 over the New York ECN after the company announce last night after its flight attendants okayed a cost savings pact and approved a $340 million concession. That news helped calm fears that the company would have announced bankruptcy today.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) ADRs rose as much as 4.6% to $15.88 and helped sparked European equities after its per share bottom line in the March quarter came in ahead of its own targeted range and that of analysts, helped somewhat by a one-time gain.

Nokia supplier RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD) $5.36 is rising to $5.42 in pre-market trade.

Nokia said it was sticking to its 10% industry-wide growth in unit handsales for the year, offering the bulls some encouragement after Motorola (NYSE:MOT) $7.82 on Wednesday said it sees industry growth at the low-end of its forecast. Motorola was trading in line with its close and was at $7.85 in London.

Nokia lowered its outlook for the networks industry. "Operator investment has decreased to an exceptionally low level, and in some cases network rollouts have slowed," it said. Still European infrastructure stocks Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) $6.92 and Alactel (NYSE:ALA) $8.17 were little moved in their overseas trade.

S&P futures (sp03m) currently show a 1.1 gain to 879.90, NASDAQ futures (nd03m) are higher by 1 point at 1,057.50, while Dow futures (dj03m) are higher by 7 points at 8,235.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.71. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.45 and set for program selling at $-2.08.

Jeff Bailey

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