Europe's financial follies echoed by US shell game

Commentary: What job numbers don't say about the economy

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Optimism about the U.S. economy has actually crowded Europe off-screen from time to time this week.

The center of U.S. happy-talk: an abrupt decline in new filings for unemployment insurance. Stuck near 400,000 each week for 18 months, last week’s figure dropped to 366,000.