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The stock market is seeing the glass as half full this morning.

This morning the Labor Department reported that 2.12 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment in the week that ended on May 23. That is down from 2.45 million initial claims in the prior week and marks the eighth straight weekly decline. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 2.1 million initial claims.

This brought the total for the last two-and-a-half months to more than 40 million.

Wall Street, though, is seeing reason for optimism in the news. The trend in initial claims continues to point downward. And the number of continuing claims, which tracks how many workers have ongoing unemployment benefit claims in state unemployment programs, fell to 21.1 million for the week ended May 16. That’s a sign that the job market is starting to rebound, according to Wall Street’s view this morning.

Complicating the picture given by these figures is that they track only conventional state unemployment claims and do not reflect the new, separate federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that expanded unemployment benefits to the self-employed and to gig workers who are not eligible under traditional unemployment programs. The number of filings under that program slid to 1.19 million from 1.25 million the prior week. But those numbers cover only 32 states since many haven’t yet moved to process any claims under the new program. Many are, in fact, reporting 0 unemployment claims under the program.

The headline on Bloomberg this morning was “Americans on Jobless Benefits Post First Drop of Pandemic.”

On the New York Times the headline was “Unemployment Claims Continue to Mount.”

June 5 brings the official unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists project that the unemployment rate for May will climb to 19.5%from 14.7% in April. The data in that report actually cover a month-long period that ends with the middle of May. It will thus not tell us much of anything about the effect of the re-opening of state economies on the job market.

Today as of 1 p.m. New York time the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 0.95% to 3066.64. The February 19, 2020 all time closing high for the index is 3386.15.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up by 0.65% and the NASDAQ Composite recovered its momentum to gain 1.06%. The Russell 2000 small cap index was down by 0.36%. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) was higher by 0.74%. Gold edged upwards by 0.25% to $1731.10 an ounce.