- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street is still preparing to rally, even as data showed a surprisingly large jump in jobless claims.

The Labor Department said Thursday new jobless claims rose to 669,000 last week from the previous week’s revised figure of 657,000.

Stock futures are paring gains, but remain sharply higher. Analysts had expected a modest decline.

Investors have been optimistic about an economic turnaround. They are also enthusiastic about world finance leaders’ plans to increase funding for the International Monetary Fund and tighten regulation of hedge funds.

Dow futures are up 102, or 1.3 percent, at 7,820. Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures are up 15.90, or 2 percent, at 825.10. Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 21.25, or 1.7 percent, at 1,272.25.

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