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Money Daily Brief: Jobless claims fall

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Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters

(Read caption) Well-wishers in Bangkok prayed Oct. 15 for the fast recovery of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His hospitalization caused Thai stocks to fall a second straight day.

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US jobless claims down: Initial claims dropped 10,000 to 514,000 last week, a better showing than many analysts predicted. It was the fifth decline in six weeks, bringing the four week average down to 531,500, the lowest total since January.

Asia eyes US improvement: Asian markets advanced, responding to JPMorgan Chase's $3.6 billion quarterly profit and to new retail data showing a sustained increase in American consumer sales). Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.8 percent and Hong Kong rose 0.5 percent. By contrast, Thai stocks plummeted a second straight day over health concerns about 'Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-serving living monarch and a unifying figure in a fractious country.

•US foreclosure record: Nearly 940,000 homes -- one in every 136 housing units -- received a foreclosure notice in the third quarter, the worse rate on record. The administration's foreclosure-prevention program has been sluggish, analysts said.

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