Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, suggesting that hiring is continuing at a modest pace. The Labor Department said weekly applications for benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000. Economists were encouraged by the decline. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they decline, hiring typically rises.
wants more cash
With its annual meeting looming and its stock declining, Apple is facing a rebellious investor who wants it to stop stockpiling cash and give it to shareholders instead. Greenlight Capital is suing over Apple's proposal to make it more difficult for the company to issue preferred stock. Greenlight's David Einhorn said the proposal would close down one avenue for Apple to reward shareholders with more cash.
The government should reassess its safety approval of the Boeing 787 lithium ion batteries, the nation's top accident investigator said. The National Transportation Safety Board's comment appears to raise doubts about the thoroughness of the FAA's certification of the batteries.
US Airways' merger talks with bankrupt American Airlines are intensifying as the sides try to agree on control of a combined company before confidentiality accords expire next week. A deal would create the world's largest airline, vaulting it past rivals that eclipsed American amid a consolidation wave during the past decade.
big 4Q loss
Sprint Nextel Corp. posted a net loss of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter, largely unchanged from the year before. Revenue rose 3.2 percent to $9 billion. Investors are overlooking short-term results since Sprint has struck a deal to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan's Softbank Corp. for $20 billion.
LinkedIn, the online professional-networking service, added another line to its resume as a public company. It earned $11.5 million, or 10 cents per share, during the final quarter of last year. That was a 66 percent increase from $6.9 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue soared 81 percent to $304 million.