Applications for unemployment benefits dropped by 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, according to the Labor Department, as reported by Associated Press. The four week average rose to 439,000. The total number of individuals receiving benefits dropped by 81,000 to 3.7 million. The does not include individuals on extended programs approved due to Recession bringing the total number of unemployed to 7.9 million.
We need more oil
The International Energy Agency indicated that the Middle East countries need to increase production of oil to keep prices lower and prevent further economic damage to the global economy. This is in contrast to the opinion of OPEC. The Wall Street Journal reports that the IEA indicates that the volume of supplies to the U.S. in the last four weeks is 2.3% lower than in the same period last year. Oil is currently trading at just over $99 per barrel.
Amazon and Playboy news
USA Todayreports that Amazon now sells more ebooks than than hard cover books. Amazon has been growing faster in the last few months than at any time in the last ten years. And in other publishing news....Playboy is offering a new subscription that allows subscribers access to every issue of Playboy published in the last 60 years. i.Playboy.com is an effort to boost subscriptions which dropped from 3.15 million in 2006 to 1.5 million today.
USA Todayalso reports that Lady Gaga and Starbucks will be uniting to promote her new album with a joint promotion or PR fest. Winners will get special access to Lady Gaga during her 2012 tour.
Renault heirs seeking compensation
According to the New York Times, heirs of Louis Renault are seeking to restore his reputation and to gain compensation for the company the government confiscated in 1945. Renault was deemed a Nazi sympathizer because his company supplied vehicles for the Third Reich. His heirs are seeking some compensation in recent laws that have allowed some renumeration to individuals blamed for war time issues. The heirs claim the Citroen and Peugeot did not have similar actions taken against them. The heirs would be entitled to about $143 million.
China becomes world's biggest gold buyer
The Chinese overtook India as the biggest buyer of gold globally in the first quarter of 2011, according to the Financial Times. The Chinese bought 93.5 tons of gold, a 55% increase from the fourth quarter of 2010 and double the amount of a year ago.
Is LinkedIn the new standard for IPOs?
LinkedIn was issued at $45 per share on Thursday but quickly doubled and at one point reached $122 per share and closed at $94 per share. It represents a 109% increase which has not occurred since the late 1990s. Of course, critics spoke of a valuation bubble. The Dow also rose 45 points closing at 12, 605.