In a mixed report, initial jobless claims fell to a much lower-than-expected level of 610,000, down 53,000 from the 663,000 in the prior week (654,000 first reported). But the latest data are for the holiday shortened Easter/Passover week of April 11. The Labor Department is in fact warning that the results were heavily affected by adjustments. The four-week average, which offers a better gauge when data are distorted, came in at 651,000, which is in line with expectations. In data for the April 4 week, continuing claims jumped again to another record, up 172,000 to above 6 million at 6.02 million. Distorted or not, stock futures did climb a bit in reaction to the report which is seeming to offset a disappointing headline number for housing starts.