The amount of unemployed Americans is rising, and unemployment benefits are being drawn from at record highs, possibly leaving a scar for the economy in the long run and stressing out Wall Street and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people continuing to draw unemployment benefits jumped by 122,000 to 3.84 million in late October. This is the highest rate since February 1983, when the country was rising up from a long and hard recession, reports Jeannine Aversa for Associated Press.

New filings for jobless benefits dropped to 481,000 last week, a still-elevated level that suggests companies are in a cost-cutting mode. Democrats in Congress are pushing for an extension of unemployment benefits in a new stimulus package.

Just in time for the troubled job market, the price of oil is at $62 per barrel with a sentiment that harder times are yet to come. John Porretto for Associated Press reports that light, sweet crude for December delivery fell more than 6% midday, to $61.22 a barrel. Oil prices have fallen about 56% since peaking at $147.27 a barrel in mid-July.

  • United States Oil (USO) down 28.93% year-to-date

Oil Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)

While interest rate cuts across Europe are verifying sending oil prices lower, the stock markets fell overseas over worries about the global economy. The Bank of England even slashed interest rates from an already low one, along with the Swiss Central Bank, but it wasn’t enough to keep stocks from tumbling.

Pan Pylas for Associated Press reports that Europe’s stocks are still at the same level they were before the rate cuts. In other words, investors just aren’t impressed.

SPDR DJ Euro STOXX 50 (FEZ) is down 44.9% year-to-date.

Europe Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.