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INSTANT VIEW 2-U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest in 4-1/2 years

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NEW YORK, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The number of Americans filingnew claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week tothe lowest level in more than four and a half years, accordinggovernment data on Thursday that suggested improvement in thelabor market.

STORY: TABLE COMMENTS:

PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, ROCKWELL GLOBALCAPITAL, NEW YORK

"This is a lot better-than-expected. It's a number that issomewhat of a surprise and the market is going to reactpositively. It shows the trend that the labor market is slightlyimproving."

JORDAN WAXMAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PARTNER AT HIGHTOWER INNEW YORK

"Claims looked pretty strong, definitely a big drop down.We're starting to hear noise about companies hiring, and that'swhat the market is waiting for. Without labor marketimprovement, we can't get a sustainable rally. The numbers seemto be moving in the right direction."

MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures added to their gains

(Americas Economics and Markets Desk; +1-646 223-6300)

Keywords: USA ECONOMY/JOBLESS CLAIMS