Initial jobless claims in the U.S. came in less than expected last week, based on data from Labor Department.
The number of first-time unemployment benefits claims was 803,000 in the week ended Dec. 19, compared to the 888,000 expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The upwardly revised initial claims of the preceding week was 892,000 (the highest figure since early September).
Continuing jobless claims (seasonally adjusted)fell to a 5.3 million in the week ended Dec. 12, from 5.5 million a week earlier.
Earlier this week, Congress approved a $900 billion coronavirus economic stimulus package, which includes $300 weekly federal supplemental unemployment benefits, $600 direct payments to most individuals, and around $325 billion for small business aid, among other items.