Thursday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories that Moved Markets

The markets rallied today, pressing against five-year highs on the back of mixed financial earnings and optimistic economic reports. Oil climbed 1.12 percent to $95.30 per barrel, while gold climbed 0.20 percent to $1,686.60 per ounce.

At the close: DJIA: +0.63%, S&P 500: +0.63%, NASDAQ: +0.59%.

Here are three stories that helped shape markets today:unemployment-office

1) The number of initial jobless claims for the week ended January 12 fell to a five-year low, according to the Department of Labor. The number of claims fell nearly 10 percent week over week, while the four-week moving average fell 1.8 percent.

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The markets have been watching employment data with additional interest ever since the Federal Reserve announced that it would link its monetary policy decisions to the U-3 unemployment rate, which currently sits at 7.8 percent. As long as inflation doesn’t pass 2.5 percent, the Fed intends to keep its foot on the monetary gas pedal until the rate drops to 6.5 percent, which might not be until 2014… (Read more.)