Stocks slipped in early trading Thursday as uncertainty over the State of the Union kept investors at bay.
The Dow lost more than 113 points within the first two hours of trading. The S&P 500 index fell 1.05% and the NASDAQ dropped more than 40 points, or 1.80%, the morning after President Barack Obama laid the ground work to reconnect Wall Street with Main Street.
“For every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response. That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight,” said President Obama Wednesday.
Big help may be on the way to small businesses and small caps if the President’s plan is approved by Republicans and Democrats alike in the nation’s capital.
“I’m also proposing a new small-business tax credit, one that will go to over 1 million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small-business investment and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.”
Millions are waiting for the President’s proposals to become realities. The Labor Department released its weekly report on jobless claims before the opening bell. The number of people filing initial claims for unemployment rose by 470,000. Those filing brought the total number of unadjusted unemployment claims for state programs nationwide to 5,605,729.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Jan. 16 were in California (+43,748), Florida (+2,345), West Virginia (+1,460), Iowa (+937), and Puerto Rico (+415).