Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by a massive 34,000 in the May 2 week to 601,000 — going against analysts’ expectations — according to data released by the Labor Department yesterday.

A Market News International survey had expected the initial claims level to rise to 635,000 this week from the originally reported 631,000 in the April 25 week. The expectations ranged from 625,000 to 650,000.

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