Unemployment Claims Dip, June Likely to Stay at 9.1% Two semi-positive reports out ahead of tomorrow's Labor report By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Jul 7, 2011 8:33 AM CDT 20 comments Comments In this June 15, 2011 photo, people walk past a "now hiring" sign outside the future site of a Uniqlo clothing store, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (Newser) – US stock futures are rising after two encouraging employment reports. The government said today that the number of Americans who made first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 418,000 last week, slightly below estimates and the lowest figure in seven weeks. In a separate look at the labor market, private payroll processor Automatic Data Processing said companies added 157,000 employees in June. That's more than double the figure economists had forecast and far higher than the 36,000 added the previous month. The two reports come a day before the Labor Department releases its monthly look at employment. Economists estimate the unemployment rate will remain at 9.1% and that employers added only 90,000 jobs last month. Major retailers are also reporting June sales figures. Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp., and Limited Brands Inc. were among those posting results that beat Wall Street estimates.