Jobless claims fell to 420,000 from 423,000 last week, making it the second-lowest seven-day period of the year. Claims were expected to rise over that period, so when they declined for the second week in a row, economists reacted with optimistic surprise (in the four-week moving average of initial claims, a less erratic statistic, the numbers looked good too). Of course, claims need to drop by about ten times that amount to signal a sustained recovery in the job market and a notable dent in the 9.8 percent national unemployment rate. [CNN]