U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gains as Jobless Claims Drop

U.S. stock futures extended gains as fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in December added 0.5 percent to 1,433.8 at 8:34 a.m. in New York. The underlying equity gauge yesterday fell to the lowest level in a month on concern that the global economy is slowing down and will hurt corporate earnings.

Applications for jobless benefits dropped 30,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Oct. 6, the fewest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 370,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. One state accounted for most of the plunge in claims, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were issued to the press.

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