WASHINGTON (AP) — Weekly applications for unemployment benefits edged down 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 400,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the lowest level in four months. The previous week's figure was revised upward from 398,000 to 401,000.
The four-week average, a less volatile figure, dropped for the fifth straight week to 407,750. That suggests there is a downward trend in layoffs.
Applications "have been grinding lower, and this week's result is at least not bad news, which at this point feels pretty good," said Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Capital markets, in an email.
Stock futures fluctuated after the report was released before erasing earlier losses.