U.S. jobless claims drop more than expected to 246,000
The report said initial jobless claims dropped to 246,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level of 260,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 253,000 from the 259,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 248,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 245,750.
The report also said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 39,000 to 2.064 million in the week ended January 21st.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined to 2,079,750, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised average of 2,092,750.
Friday morning, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for January. ■