Jobless claims near 4-year low
Report lifts hopes on economy, housing market
The healthier job market that’s lifted the economy in recent months shows no signs of slowing. Applications for unemployment aid are near a four-year low, raising expectations of further hiring gains. The news yesterday helped catapult the Dow to its highest close since May 2008. More jobs and tame inflation are giving consumers more buying power. Their higher spending could further boost growth and lower the unemployment rate for February for a sixth straight month. Even the troubled housing market is benefiting. Builders expect improved sales in the near future. In response, they are planning to break ground on more homes.