Sudden unemployment increase stopped the stock market euphoria

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefit last week has risen unexpectedly. The U.S. Department of Labor reported 742,000 new applications, against a revised number of 711,000 a week earlier. Economists, on the whole, took account of a fall to 700,000 new applications.

It is the first time in five weeks that the number of applications has increased. In recent months tens of millions of people in the United States have been using the social safety net as a result of the coronacrisis. Because large companies have announced reorganisations, many new applications continue to flow in. In addition, uncertainty is increasing as the daily rates of infection in the US are rising again.

Since mid-March, the number of applications for benefits in the US has been above 1 million for months because of the coronacrisis. It was only in August that the number of applications dropped below that level for the first time in a week, but since then the decline has stopped.

Sales of existing homes in the United States increased in October against the expectation of a month earlier. That’s what the American brokerage Association reported.

Sales increased by 4.3% on a monthly basis. Economists generally assumed a decrease of 1.1%. In september, sales increased by a further 9.9%.

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