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NEW YORK (AP) – Stock prices are lower in the early going.

A lower open comes after the Labor Department reported that the number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to a seven-year high.

Initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 497,000. That’s significantly above analysts’ estimate of 475,000. The total is the highest since just after the September 11th terrorist attacks seven years ago. It also comes a day ahead of the monthly employment data.

Investors remain concerned about the fate of the financial rescue package which could come up for a vote in the House tomorrow.


Asian investors not impressed yet

LONDON (AP) – World stock markets are mixed as investors continue to weigh the potential impact of the U.S. Senate passing a 700 billion dollar bank rescue package.

In afternoon trading in Europe, major indexes in Britain, Germany and France were all in positive territory.

But the mood in Asia varied. Hong Kong’s market was down for much of the day but managed a late-day rally to jump 1.1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 average fell nearly 2 percent, and benchmarks in Australia, South Korea and Taiwan also dropped.

One analyst in Britain says there is an optimistic view that central banks are willing to cut rates in the coming weeks, but adds there has been a “big loss of economic momentum in the last few months.”

Article Topic Follows: News

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