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Business Update for 12/5/13

Business news for Thursday, December 5.

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, poses next to the 2015 Ford Mustang on the set of Good Morning America
Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, poses next to the 2015 Ford Mustang on the set of Good Morning America (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly lower in early trading on Wall Street. Traders are studying a series of mixed economic reports. Several retailers are also reporting poor results.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has fallen for the seventh time in eight weeks. The Labor Department says 298,000 people sought jobless benefits last week, down 23,000 from the previous week. The less volatile four-week moving average declined 10,750 to 322,250. The government issues its November employment report tomorrow.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew faster than previously thought in the third quarter. The Commerce Department has revised its estimate upward to an annual growth rate of 3.6 percent from July through September. But almost the entire third-quarter revision in the gross domestic product was due to a big jump in business stockpiles. When inventories are excluded, the economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate, a slight decrease from the second quarter. Consumer spending was the weakest in nearly four years.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department says factory orders fell 0.9 percent in October, following a 1.8 percent increase in September. A big reason for the October decline was a steep drop in orders for aircraft. But core capital goods, a category that excludes volatile orders for aircraft and defense equipment, also fell, dropping 0.6 percent due in large part to a drop in demand for computers. Demand picked up for primary metals, household appliances and oil and gas field machinery.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average rates for fixed mortgages are up sharply this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan jumped to 4.46 percent from 4.29 percent last week, while the average on the 15-year fixed loan increased to 3.47 percent from 3.30 percent. Rates have risen a full percentage point since May after the Federal Reserve signaled it might slow its bond purchases by year’s end. Rates peaked at 4.6 percent in August.

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors are showing concern that more signs of a growing U.S. economy could mean the Federal Reserve begins pulling back on its stimulus sooner than expected. The stock market fell for fourth straight day yesterday, its longest losing streak in more than two months. The Dow dropped 25 points. The S&P 500 fell two. But the Nasdaq edged up nearly a point. Futures point to lackluster trading at this morning’s opening.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Asian stock markets are in the red today after strong U.S. economic data renewed fears that the Federal Reserve may start cutting its monetary stimulus this month. European markets were muted in early trading ahead of European Central Bank and Bank of England policy meetings. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $97.50 a barrel. The dollar was little changed against the euro and fell against the yen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew faster than previously thought in the third quarter. The Commerce Department has revised its estimate upward to a 3.6 percent annual growth rate from July through September. However, much of the gain was from a buildup of business stockpiles, and some economists say that means there’s little momentum behind it. When inventories are excluded, the economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate, a slight decrease from the second quarter.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government reports the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment fell 23,000 last week to 298,000, while the four-week average dropped more than 10,000. Applications for jobless benefits have now fallen in seven of the past eight weeks. Stocks have opened mostly lower on Wall Street.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s economy expanded at its fastest clip in nearly two years during the third quarter as construction and capital expenditure offset weak growth in exports. The Bank of Korea says the economy grew 3.3 percent in the July-September period over a year earlier. South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The venerable Ford Mustang is celebrating its 50th birthday with a new design and plans to go global. Ford will reveal the 2015 Mustang today at events in New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona and its hometown of Dearborn, Mich. The car goes on sale next fall in North America and later in Europe and Asia. The new car has plenty of cues from the old, but it also has some new features, including a roof that tapers dramatically in the front and rear and narrower, more menacing headlights.


 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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