Latest U.S. labor, factory data improve sharply

07/18/2013 | Reuters

Initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were down more than expected last week, plunging 24,000 to the lowest level since May. Separately, a key reading of mid-Atlantic factory activity rose much more than expected, with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's index registering 19.8 this month, up from an already strong 12.5 in June. The latest economic data add to the case for a cutback in the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program.

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