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After a rough day for markets, there's some mildly optimistic news for the U.S. economy on Thursday morning: initial unemployment benefits claims fell to 390,000, the lowest level in seven months and the second straight week under the magic number of 400,000. That is is better than what surveyed economists were expecting, reported Reuters. From the Labor Department's release:

In the week ending November 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 390,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 400,000. The 4-week moving average was 400,000, a decrease of 5,250 from the previous week's revised average of 405,250.

So, is this a ... good sign? "We need claims to stay below the 400,000 level for some time before we can be sure there’s improvement," an economist told Bloomberg News.

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