Jobless Claims Disappointed. Why the Dow Looks Set to Gain 200 Points.

Photograph by Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks set to open higher after first-time jobless claims disappointed but the market continued to look toward stimulus for further gains.

Initial jobless claims fell slightly to 840,000, from an adjusted 849,000 the previous week, and barely missing economist forecasts for 837,000. Continuing claims fell to 10.976 million, below forecasts for 11.5 million.

The stock market doesn’t seem to mind the miss. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 254 points, or 0.9%, at 8:30 a.m., after being up 206 points, or 0.7% at around 8:10 a.m. S&P 500 futures were up 0.6%, while Nasdaq Composite futures had risen 0.8%.

“Overall, a mixed bag but it’s encouraging to see continuing claims drop below 11 million for the first time since March,” writes Bespoke Investment Group’s Paul Hickey. “The catalyst this morning is—you guessed it—more stimulus hopes.”

Reports of continued negotiations on stimulus continued overnight, with suggestions that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussing a stand-alone bill to provide aid to airlines.

The 10-year Treasury yield has slipped 0.013 percentage point to 0.772%, and remain rangebound for now. “The Treasury market is higher in the wake of the data as dip-buying and election risks have become the near-term themes,” writes BMO’s Ian Lyngen.

For now, nothing has changed.

Write to Ben Levisohn at Ben.Levisohn@barrons.com