Unemployment claims rise. Learn more about this and other top news stories of the day.
Claims for Unemployment Rise 10,000
Initial claims for unemployment benefits last week increased by 10,000 to a preliminary reading of 344,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 347,250, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending May 18 was 2,986,000, an increase of 63,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 2,986,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the preceding week. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending May 18 was 4,578,592, a decrease of 166,659 from the previous week. There were 6,138,246 claimants in the comparable week in 2012.
Nikkei Index Falls 5.2 Percent
Growing concerns over Japan’s economic turnaround plan drove the Nikkei index down 5.2 percent on Thursday. The drop erased gains for May and followed a 7 percent decline last Thursday, the biggest one-day loss since the country’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011. The Nikkei has fallen 10 percent below its peak and is now in a technical correction.
U.S. Economic Growth Revised Downward for First Quarter
The U.S. economy grew by 2.4 percent in the first quarter of the year, a slightly slower pace than the 2.5 percent report by the Commerce Department last month, CNN Money reports. The revised estimate does not dramatically alter the economic picture of increased consumer spending and continued slow job growth. Spending increased at an annual rate of 3.4 percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase since the fourth quarter of 2010. Cuts in government spending place the single biggest drag on growth.
Newsweek Magazine Brand is up for Sale
Newsweek is up for sale just six months after the iconic magazine was converted to a digital publication, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Newsweek brand, archive and digital subscriber list is on the market, according to IAC Chairman Barry Diller. The company plans to keep the Daily Beast’s website, which hosts Newseek’s online edition.
Motorola to Produce First US-Assembled Smartphone
Motorola announced Wednesday that it is opening a Fort Worth, Texas manufacturing facility to produce Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled domestically, The Associated Press reports. The plant, formerly used by Nokia and designed to produce mobile devices, will create a reported 2,000 jobs. “More than 130 million people in the U.S. are using smartphones," Mark Randall, Motorola's senior vice president of supply chain and operations, said in a statement, "but until Moto X, none of those smartphones have been built in the USA." The Moto X is expected to go on sale this summer.
Wendy’s Gets its Sizzle Back with Pretzel Burger
While not yet available in any of its restaurants, Wendy’ Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger is cooking up big buzz in the fast-food industry. Wendy’s has not confirmed when the premium menu item will be available, but the company, formerly an industry leader in product innovation, “could regain its claim to that crown with a serious hit,” USA Today reports. Analysts are saying that the bacon cheeseburger, served on soft pretzel bread, could do for Wendy’s what the Doritos Locos Tacos did for Taco Bell. Reports of wildly successful market tests prompted one research analyst to upgrade Wendy’s stock to “buy” from neutral, USA Today said.