While the jobless-claims report is normally an important data point for investors to watch on Thursdays, today the jobs market is taking a backseat to the bailout in Cyprus and the revised GDP number.
But let's start with the jobs report. The Department of Labor said initial jobless claims rose more than expected last week to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous reading. The four-week average rose 2,250 to 343,000, but many believe the job market is still moving forward any time the average is below 350,000.
The Cypriot banks all opened this morning without incident. One report I read said there may have been more reporters than actual bank customers when the doors opened for business. This will hopefully help stabilize the banking system not only in Cyprus but throughout Europe, and clearly this is a good sign for investors.
Lastly, revised U.S. GDP numbers were released this morning, showing that fourth-quarter GDP rose 0.4% during the last three months of 2012. This was slightly lower than the expected 0.5% but still a positive sign.
And with all of that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 26 points, or 0.18%, as of 1 p.m. EDT. As usual, though, a few losers can be found.
Today's top Dow downers
Even though the Cypriot banks opened without a hitch today, the Dow's two banks are down again today. JPMorgan Chase is down 0.8%, while Bank of America has lost 0.7%. Both of the banks are heading lower due to their own problems today, not a macroeconomic event. JPMorgan was denied its request for a lawsuit dismissal by a U.S. district judge today. The bank is being sued by a pension fund that claims the bank mismanaged the funds.
Bank of America is likely heading lower due to the revelation that not only did CEO Brian Moynihan receive more than $12 million in compensation during 2012, but his co-COO actually made more than that: In a filing released this morning, the bank reported that Tom Montag made $14.5 million in 2012. While the majority of both compensation packages came in the form of stock options, some investors are still turned off by the thought that top executives are making that amount of money.
Even though Boeing's top brass continues to express confidence that the grounded 787 Dreamliner will soon be cleared to fly by the FAA, shares are down 0.7% this afternoon. The decline may be the result of a Boeing customer reporting that it is now leasing aircraft from Airbus, Boeing's closest competitor. Polish airline LOT signed a lease agreement with Airbus for planes from April 12 until the end of May, at which time the airline is hoping it can fly its 787s.
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