New jobless claims rose more than expected. Learn more about this and other top news stories of the day.
Jobless Claims Jump 32,000
Initial claims for unemployment, an indicator of job layoffs, jumped a more than projected to 32,000 last week, advancing the seasonally adjusted figure to 360,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday. This was the biggest jump in first-time claims for unemployment benefits since last November. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 339,250, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending May 4 was 3,009,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 3,015,250, a decrease of 21,000 from the preceding week.
Consumer Prices Drop 0.4 Percent
Falling gas prices drove a drop in the April Consumer Price Index, the Labor Department announced Thursday. The CPI dipped 0.4 percent, the fastest rate in four years. In the 12 months through April, consumer prices rose 1.1 percent, which is below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation benchmark. Gasoline costs dropped 8.1 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008.
Google Launches Subscription Music Service
And the hits just keep on coming for Google. The technology giant launched on Wednesday Google All Access, a subscription music service that provides millions of songs for a monthly fee. Apple is expected to announce its own service next month, The Los Angeles Times reports. Subscribers will be able to search for songs, albums or artists or different genres and subgenres. It will offer recommendations based on the user's listening habits and personal library of songs. Subscription services contributed about 15 percent of total music industry revenue last year, the Times reported.
Budget Cuts to Force Closure of IRS Offices for Five Days
IRS offices, hotlines, assistance centers and Taxpayer Advocate Service will be closed for five days this summer due to the March budget cuts. The designated days are May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30, CNN reports. IRS workers will be furloughed without pay on those days. The agency said it may announce another one or two furlough days at a later date. Tax filing and payment deadlines will not be affected, but taxpayers will get additional time to comply with document requests should an original deadline fall on a furlough day. Online tools such as “Where’s My Refund” will not be operational on those days.
Netflix Gets “Arrested Development” Bump
The hilariously dysfunctional Bluth family is back and Netflix is reaping the benefits. Shares of Netflix rose 4 percent Wednesday in anticipation of the May 26 return of “Arrested Development.” Netflix is releasing 15 long-awaited new episodes of the quirky TV series that was cancelled in 2006, but a passionately devoted audience long lobbied for its resurrection. The “Arrested Development” bump is the latest boost for Netflix stock, whose stock, CNN reports, has been among the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq-100’s top performers all year, surging more than 150 percent. Just a reminder: “There’s always money in the banana stand.”
Snooping Concerns Prompt JP Morgan to Request Bloomberg Logs
JP Morgan Chase has asked Bloomberg LP for five years of internal logs to determine what information journalists were able to track on the financial news and data system, CNN Money reports. The request from one of Bloomberg’s biggest customers is a response to allegations that reporters accessed client information and enjoyed a competitive advantage over rival news services. Bloomberg’s real-time data, analytics and news are used throughout the financial industry.
Bloomberg would not comment on the request, but has publicly apologized for the mistake, an error that dates back to the formation of Bloomberg News, according to CNN Money. Company spokespersons said the reporters were able to view a user’s login history, inquiries to the help desk and how many times various computer programs were accessed, but any other information was off limits.