Initial Jobless Claims Fall From Record Highs

May 10, 2001 ( - The number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits for the first time plummeted by 41,000 from the record highs of previous weeks.

Figures released by the Department of Labor show initial jobless claims tumbling from last week’s revised figure of 425,000 to 384,000 in the week ending May 5, their lowest level in over a month.

The drop far exceeds the forecasts by economists polled by Reuters who expected the number to come in at 417,000.

The four-week moving average that smoothes out weekly fluctuations, slid down slightly to 402,500, from last week’s 405,500.

The stock market opened strongly this morning buoyed by these both these figures and a surprise interest-rate cut by the European Central Bank.