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Jobless claims hit another Covid-era low: Here's how the headlines could affect your money

Plus, here's what to do if you get a tax bill from the IRS.

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Markets were mixed, first-time unemployment claims reached another pandemic low, and some smart ways to handle a tax bill from the IRS. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Stocks inch higher  

Markets mostly recovered from their lows earlier in the week apart from the Nasdaq, which dropped 0.4%. The Dow, meanwhile, gained 0.3% for a record closing high, and the S&P 500 ended the day up 0.1%. The three major indexes were mixed Thursday morning

Jobless claims hit another pandemic low

Fewer Americans are filing first-time unemployment claims. For another consecutive week, initial jobless claims reached a pandemic-era low, totaling 498,000 for the period ending May 1. That's better than economist expectations and an improvement from the previous week.

Continuing claims were up slightly to just under 3.7 million. But analysts remain optimistic: The U.S. is vaccinating over 2 million people daily and the economy added 1 million jobs in April

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What to do if the IRS sends you a tax bill

The IRS has already processed more than 100 million individual tax returns so far this year and the average refund is $2,870. But some Americans could get an unexpected bill instead, if they traded stocks, invested in cryptocurrency, or started a side gig to supplement their income. 

If you find that you owe the IRS and can't pay right away, you can apply for a short or long-term repayment plan, or talk to a tax expert to explore your options. 

Either way, don't wait. By filing early, "you'll have the most accurate account of your tax year, and give yourself plenty of time to pay any taxes due," says Carter Seuthe, vice president of content at Credit Summit.

Words you've heard: dogecoin 

Dogecoin is a digitally traded cryptocurrency that started as a joke in 2013 but gained popularity after Elon Musk tweeted about it. Users can purchase it directly through exchanges like Coinbase or Bitstamp. As of Thursday morning, one dogecoin was worth 60 cents.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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