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Business/Economy

  • Unemployment numbers spike after one-week lull

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years.

    The big drop a week earlier had occurred largely because bad weather in many parts of the country had kept people from applying for benefits.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that 410,000 people sought unemployment assistance last week, a jump of 25,000 from the previous week. The rise was much larger than economists had expected.

  • Stocks rise after strong earnings, deal news

    NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings results and another round of corporate deals led stocks higher Wednesday.

    Family Dollar rose 24 percent in early trading after activist investor Nelson Peltz's firm offered to pay up to $60 a share to take the discount retailer private. That was a 36 percent premium from Tuesday's closing price. Family Dollar rose the most of any stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

  • Borders files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bookseller Borders, which helped pioneer superstores that put countless mom-and-pop bookshops out of business, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, sunk by crushing debt and sluggishness in adapting to a rapidly changing industry.

    The 40-year-old company plans to close about 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks. All of the stores closed will be superstores, Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said. The company also operates smaller Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores.

  • Obama resurrects rejected tax increases in budget plan

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's budget proposal resurrects a series of tax increases on certain corporations and the wealthy that were largely ignored by Congress when Democrats controlled both chambers. Republicans, who now control the House, are signaling they will be even less receptive.

  • YMCA's diabetes class

    The Family YMCA’s Diabetes 101-Education and Prevention class is being held from 12:05-12:55 p.m. Mondays.
    When the series is completed, it will begin again the first Monday of each month. The class is free to the public.
    For more information, call 662-3100.

  • Fewest requests for unemployment aid since 2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly three years, continuing a downward trend that suggests hiring could pick up this year.

    Applications sank by a seasonally adjusted 36,000 to 383,000, the lowest point since early July 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

  • New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

    A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

    Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

  • Bernanke encouraged by sharp drop in unemployment

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that the sharp drop in unemployment over the last two months is encouraging but cautioned that it will take several years for hiring to return to normal.

    In prepared testimony before the House Budget Committee, Bernanke also warned that failing to forge a plan to reduce the government's $1 trillion-plus deficits over the long term could eventually hurt the economy.

  • Government: No electronic flaws in Toyotas

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's investigation into Toyota safety problems has found no electronic flaws to account for reports of sudden, unintentional acceleration and other safety problems. Government investigators said Tuesday the only known cause of the problems are mechanical defects that have been addressed by previous recalls.

  • Foreclosures raise US economic stress

    The nation's economic stress inched up in December because higher foreclosures outweighed lower unemployment, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis.

    Bankruptcy levels remained largely unchanged from November. But the depressed housing market took a toll. Foreclosure rates rose in 33 states, most sharply in Utah, New Jersey, Nevada and Arizona.