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The S&P 500 rose to an all-time high yesterday as investors shrugged off a key inflation report that showed a bigger-than-expected increase in price pressures.

 

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 9,000 a seasonally adjusted 376,000 for the week ended June 5. That was the lowest since mid-March 2020 when the first wave of COVID-19 infections barreled through the country.  Claims have now decreased for six straight weeks. The drop in applications was led by California and Pennsylvania.  The number of people continuing to receive benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 258,000 to 3.5 million during the week ended May 29. These so-called continuing claims had been stuck in a 3.6 million-3.8 million range since the middle of March, indicating workers were rejoining the labor force.

 

The net worth of U.S. households climbed to new heights as 2021 began.  Thanks largely to a surge in the stock market and in home prices, the total balance sheet for households and nonprofits rose to $137 trillion in the first quarter, a 4% gain from the end of 2020, according to the Federal Reserve.

 

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