By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) - The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims fell 26,000 from last week to 900,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Analysts expected 910,000 for the week ending Jan. 16, while the previous week's number was revised down by 39,000 from 965,000 to 926,000.
The states of Arizona, Illinois and Maryland saw the highest rises, while California, New York and Texas posted declines.
Despite the fall in claims, there are still more than 10 million jobless Americans since the pandemic-hit US economy shed 22 million jobs in March and April.
President Joe Biden, who took office Wednesday, is expected to introduce two relief bills that would inject more than $2 trillion into the world's largest economy to support the labor market.
With expectations of fresh liquidity, and Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen pushing to postpone raising taxes on corporations, US stocks climbed to record levels on Inauguration Day.
Netflix soared more than 16% to an all-time high of $593. Google's parent company Alphabet rose 5% and Amazon increased 4.5% on Wednesday.
Twitter and Apple increased more than 3% each and Facebook gained 2.4%.
Before markets opened Thursday, futures were up, indicating another potential record trading day.
Dow Jones futures were up by 0.1% at 8.45 a.m. EDT (1345GMT). Futures of S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also up by 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively.
After posting gains earlier in the day, precious metals fell into negative territory with gold at $1,865 per ounce, a 0.4% daily loss and silver at $25.7, a 0.3% decline.
Investors are worried about new variants of the coronavirus that would keep global economic activity weak and possibly trigger additional quarantine measures in coming months.
Crude oil prices were also down, with Brent crude at $55.8, a 0.5% loss, and American West Texas Intermediate at $53 -- a 0.6% decline.
After reaching an all-time high of $41,616 on Jan. 8, cryptocurrency Bitcoin was trading just above the $32,000 mark, losing almost 25% in less than two weeks.