Jobless Claims Rise to 516,000; Wal-Mart Earnings Soar; Intel Lowers 4Q Forecast; Urban Outfitters Clocks $59 Million 3Q Earnings; Budget Deficit Hits Record High; Volatile Crude Climbs 3.7%; U.S. Steel Lays Off 677 NA Employees;
- Initial jobless claims jump to their highest level since 9/11, rising 32,000 to 516,000 in the week ended Nov. 8, the Labor Department said yesterday (Thursday). The total number of people collecting unemployment benefits is at the highest level since 1983, CNNMoney.com reported.
- Despite consumer spending dropping 3.1% in the third quarter, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) beat estimates by reporting a 9.8% gain in third-quarter profit. The world’s largest retailer also said it is “optimistic” about holiday shopping season despite widespread belief we’re in the worst recession in three decades, Bloomberg reported.
- Citing weakening global demand, Intel Corp. (INTC) lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast by 14%, sending a ripple of fear into the markets. "For revenue to be that far down sequentially, it means consumers have basically shut down for the holidays," Charter Equity Research analyst John Dryden told Reuters.
- Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) rebuffed falling consumer demand with $59 million in third-quarter earnings, a 31% gain from last year. The Philadelphia-based retailer owns 140 flagship stores, 118 Anthropologie locations and 27 Free People shops, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
- The U.S. budget deficit hit a record-high $237.2 billion in October – the first month of a new fiscal year. That’s over four times larger than the October 2007 deficit of $56.8 billion.
- Crude prices yesterday (Thursday) rose $2.08, or 3.7%, to settle at $58.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier falling as low as $54.67a barrel.
- United States Steel Corp. said yesterday (Thursday) announced the release of 677 workers in the United States and Canada because of weak demand. The layoffs, effective immediately, include 500 employees in the United States and 177 in Canada, a company spokesman said.