The jobless rate soared to 5.5% in May from 5% a month earlier, the highest level since late 2004 and the biggest jump in more than two decades. Economists had expected a rise to only 5.1%.
Oil, meanwhile, returned to record territory with a vengeance after an analyst predicted that crude would hit the $150-a-barrel mark by July 4. Crude futures rocketed up $10.75 to settle at $138.54 a barrel, exceeding the record price set about two weeks ago. It was the biggest one-day rise in dollar terms in the New York Mercantile Exchange's history.
Put it all together, and worries resurfaced that consumers would buckle from the double whammy of rising unemployment and soaring gasoline prices. - Los Angeles Times