By Peter Schroeder - 08/11/11 03:13 PM EDT
The stock market seesaw showed no sign of abating Thursday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped hundreds of points early to climb above 11,000.
The spike for the blue-chip stock index, which peaked at more than 300 points, comes one day after a 520-point spill, and it has now seen triple-digit swings back and forth for the last week. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices were also both up over 3 percent in the morning trading.
But markets were buoyed Thursday by a fairly strong report on initial jobless claims for the first week of August, which found the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits for the first time at 395,000, its lowest level in four months. Falling below 400,000 also offered an important psychological boost, as economists said jobless claims below that level represent stable job growth.
But that optimism was tempered by another economic report that showed the nation’s trade deficit unexpectedly widening in its biggest drop in more than two years.