Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

NEW JOBLESS RANKS DROP AMID RUSH OF FIRE CLAIMS

The number of laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in a month, even though wildfires added to the unemployment rolls in California.

The Labor Department reported that 317,000 applicants filed for jobless claims last week, down by 13,000 from the previous week. It was the lowest level since Oct. 9. The bigger-than-expected improvement came even though benefit applications were boosted by almost 3,000 in California as a result of the wildfires that struck that state.

Last week's increase brought to almost 4,000 the number of layoffs in California attributed to the adverse effects of the fires.

Even with last week's decline in overall claims, the four-week average for claims edged up to 329,750, the highest level since mid-April.

OIL FUTURES OFF SLIGHTLY AS PUMP PRICES GO UP

Oil futures ended a turbulent session lower Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke issued a warning about economic growth. Gasoline prices, meanwhile, rose farther above $3 a gallon at the pump in response to crude prices, which have soared 42 percent since August.

Overnight, the national average price of a gallon of gas rose 1.8 cents to $3.061, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Light, sweet crude for December delivery fell 91 cents to settle at $95.46 a barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange

APPLE EXPECTS IPHONE TO LAUNCH WELL IN EUROPE

Apple's iPhone will go on sale in Germany and Britain today, making its European debut four months after its launch in the United States. "We assume that the device will find a very good reception on the market," said Rene Bresgen, spokesman for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in Germany. …

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