Winter weather takes over the country, and jobless claims go up slightly. Wal-Mart issues a positive quarterly report, and that is just a few of the top news stories of the day for Nov. 13, 2014.
Jobless Claims On The Rise
The Labor Department Thursday said new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, although it is still close to a 14-year low as the labor market triers to figure itself out. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 12,000 to 290,000 for the week ended Nov. 8. Claims have now been below the 300,000 threshold for nine straight weeks and in October hit 266,000, the lowest level since 2000.
Wal-Mart Has Good News
Wal-Mart exceeded Wall Street expectations with its latest quarterly report issued Thursday. The company reported a profit of $1.15 a share on revenue of $118.01 billion, above the earnings expectation of $1.12 per share. The company also said it projects earnings for the full year of between $4.92 a share and $5.02 a share. “"We had several merchandise categories driving top-line growth," said CEO Greg Foran in a press release. “I’m encouraged by our performance during key seasonal events. We had strong back-to-school results in apparel, home and school supplies, and we ended the quarter well by executing a strong Halloween event." U.S. same-store sales rose 0.5 percent, ending six quarters of flat or declining same-store sales.
Kohl’s Fails to Match Expectations
Kohl’s department stores reported third quarter earnings and revenue below analysts’ expectations Thursday. The company posted earnings of 70 cents a share on revenue of $4.37 billion, compared to last year’s earnings per share of 81 cents on revenue of $4.44 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 74 cents a share on $4.4 billion in revenue. In October, the company issued a warning to investors that comparable sales would drop 1.4 percent in the third quarter but that e-commerce sales should continue to climb.
Sony Offering Online Entertainment
With its new service called PlayStation Vue, Sony has unveiled its online TV service which will offer live content and on-demand programs through PlayStation consoles. PlayStation Vue will offer 75 channels per market, including channels from major networks such as CBS, Fox and NBCUniversal. Sony will roll out a version of the new service this month to selected PlayStation 3 and 4 users in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia and will offer the service commercially in the first quarter of 2015. Sony is trying to get into the market currently dominated by Netflix, which currently has 37.5 million subscribers.
Winter Returns to East Coast
The Weather Service Thursday warned the East Coast to prepare for severely cold temperatures while the rest of the nation will suffer through unusually low temperatures as well. Temperatures across much of the northern and central U.S. will drop 25 to 40 degrees below normal Thursday. New England is also expected to experience light snow, while the Great Lakes region could see up to a foot of snow in its most northern areas. The cold temperatures are expected to remain through the middle of next week. The Weather Channel said that the Rockies, northern Plains and upper Midwest will see temperatures in the teens over the next several days, but single-digits and possibly subzero weather will plague parts of the Rockies and high plains.
Comcast Still Pursuing Time-Warner
Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, said Wednesday his company is still pursuing the proposed $56 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable despite the concerns that exist following President Barack Obama’s call for tougher regulations on high-speed Internet service providers. As part of its commitment to getting the Time Warner deal done, Roberts said Comcast still intends to spend about $20 billion during the next two years to improve its Internet service and other products. Roberts made his remarks to reporters during a presentation in San Francisco Wednesday. Earlier in the day, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson spoke at a different conference and said his company is scaling back spending plans until the Federal Communication Commission determines the new rules governing Internet service providers.