Benchmark indexes opened lower after the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits climbed by 17,000 to 551,000 last week. Stocks extended losses after the Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index dropped to 52.6 in September, lower than the reading of 54 projected by economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Rising unemployment and the waning effects of PresidentBarack Obama’s$787 billion stimulus program will restrain a U.S. economic recovery next year, the International Monetary Fund predicted. The world’s largest economy is forecast to expand 1.5 percent next year, after contracting 2.7 percent in 2009, the IMF said today. In July, the Washington-based lender projected 0.8 percent growth for 2010.
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