Initial jobless claims decreased by 4,000 to 444,000 in the report released Thursday, nearly 4,000 less than expected. While claims improved over the four-week average with sizable payroll growth, the lack of any significant improvement will limit confidence and expectations for any sizable growth in May.

After a rally on most major indexes Wednesday, as investors returned their attention to the domestic economy in light of eased European debt woes, stocks have dropped early Thursday due to the weak job report.

The unemployment rate jumped to 9.9%, and remains the primary obstacle in the road to economic recovery. Despite adding 290,000 jobs, investors will need to see consistent job growth and weekly decreases in jobless claims to become more confident in a strengthening labor market.

U. S. stocks opened lower early Thursday as investors’ high expectations for tech stocks faded. Against an optimistic outlook released Wednesday by IBM (NYSE: IBM) executives, Cisco Systems Inc. (NSDQ: CSCO) led a weak start to the morning, down 3.2% after reporting a 63% profit jump, which failed to meet analysts’ expectations. [Technology ETFs: Over, Equal, or Underweight?]

  • Technology Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLK)

Despite two straight years in the red, Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) eyes a  return to profit in the coming year. While hesitant to be too optimistic based on the fact that about a quarter of their profit comes from Europe, Sony has projected a five-fold increase in operating profit behind painful restructuring methods and the success of their LCD televisions and digital cameras. [Top 10 ETFs Investors are Trading]

  • iShares MSCI Japan Index (NYSEArca: EWJ)

“Aaron Hurst contributed to this article.”

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.