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The stock markets fluctuated and eventually ended the trading session down today as investors remained cautious although the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is near decade lows.

The Department of Labor reported that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits was 277,000 for the week ended September 27. Bloomberg noted that the four-week moving average for jobless claims declined to the lowest level in almost two months, and the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits was the lowest in 15 years.

The agency is expected to report that the economy added around 200,000 jobs in September based on Bloomberg’s survey. The Department of Labor its expected to release its jobs report on Friday.

Tom Simons, an economist at Jefferies, commented, “Layoff activity remains modest. Labor-market conditions are pretty tight. The slack continues to decline.”

Yesterday, the equity markets recorded significant gains but failed to maintain that momentum. Matt...