Apple store designs can be trademarked in Europe; U.S. jobless claims among the lowest since the recession. Information investors need to know about Costco and Samsung are in News for the Investor.
Jobless Claims Fall to Near Recent Lows
The Labor Department Thursday reported that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to one of the lowest levels since before the 2007 recession. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 304,000 for the week ending July 5, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters expected the rate to be at 315,000, so the actual numbers were well below expectations. The four-week moving average for new claims declined by 3,500 to 311,500 last week, the second lowest reading for the moving average since August 2007.
Costco Tops Expectations
Costco Wholesale had a 6 percent rise in same-store sales in June thanks to higher fuel prices, the company reported Thursday. Analysts expected same-store sales to rise 5.4 percent for the month of June, according to Reuters. Costco usually prices its gasoline below the prices of competing stations in order to get customers into their stores. June net sales rose 10 percent to $10.89 billion, Costco said.
Harley-Davidson Bit By Recall Bug
Harley-Davidson joined the rage of recalls by vehicular manufacturers by announcing a recall of more than 66,000 Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles from the 2014 model year because they are experiencing front wheel lockups. The recall applies to bikes with anti-lock brakes made from July 1, 2013 to May 7, 2014. The flaw, which occurs when a brake line in front is pinched between the fuel tank and the frame, has resulted in five crashes and two minor injuries. The problem was discovered last fall through warranty claims. Dealers will replace the brake lines for free and attach straps to hold them in place.
Family Dollar Profits Fall
Discount retailer Family Dollar had to resort to deeper discounts than usual as a result of a drop in profits for its third quarter, the company announced Thursday. The report said net income fell to $81.1 million, or 71 cents per share, from $120.9 million, or $1.05 per share, one year earlier. Net sales at Family Dollar rose 3.3 percent to $2.66 billion in the third quarter ended May 31. Same-store sales fell 1.8 percent, marking the third consecutive quarterly decline.
Samsung Faces New Child Worker Allegations
One week after assuring investors it had no underage labor working on making its products, Samsung Electronics was cited Thursday for using child workers at Shinyang Electronic, a Samsung supplier in southern China. The report came from the New York-based group China Labor Watch. Samsung, a South Korean company, issued its annual sustainability report last week and disclosed that it had previously had illegal hiring practices involving more than 200 suppliers in China, but had vowed the violations had ended in 2012. Samsung previously had been cited for lack of safety training and working hours over legal limits. CLW condemned the company for its claims of fixing the labor problems as “false advertisement meant to bolster its image as a responsible corporate citizen.”
Apple Design Wins Over Europe
There is nothing quite like going into an Apple store, with its minimalist design, and now there really won’t be anything like it, at least in Europe and the United States. Apple’s store layouts can be registered as a trademark in the European Union, the EU top court ruled Thursday. The EU said the Apple store layout met its criteria of being able to be represented as a graphic and can be distinguished from other goods and services. Apple has already had its store designs trademarked in the United States. The technology company can now open stores with its minimalist style and products on open tables across the EU and other companies cannot replicate the open design.