Jobless claims rise, um...I mean, who could have guessed?

We're back to dealing with the "U" word on jobless claims. If you and I expect higher claims for the week but the media does not, it's only "unexpected" for some.

Not for others:

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week, further evidence of a weak labor market just hours before President Barack Obama unveils a plan on job creation in a major address to Congress.

A separate report showed a considerably narrower trade deficit for July, a positive signal for growth in the third quarter after a sluggish first half of the year.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 414,000 in the week ending September 3 from an upwardly revised 412,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a dip to 405,000.

"Jobless claims numbers have been stabilizing in recent weeks. We're probably seeing an economy that's just growing slowly," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors in St. Louis.

U.S. stock index futures extended losses after the data, while Treasury debt prices held gains..

One reason for the narrowing trade gap is that the dollar is losing strength thanks to our debt. Foreigners buy American goods with devalued dollars while we get priced out of some products because of an unfavorable exchange rate.

Just a little gift for the president prior to his jobs speech tonight.

If you experience technical problems, please write to