at 5-year low
The number of people seeking unemployment aid barely changed last week, while the average over the past month fell to a fresh five-year low, signaling a decline in layoffs and a stronger job market. The Labor Department said weekly unemployment benefit applications rose 2,000, to 336,000. The four-week average fell 7,500, to 339,750, the lowest since February 2008.
Brother of fund
The brother of a jailed one-time hedge fund boss, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for insider trading, has been charged with conspiring to cheat on Wall Street. In announcing the indictment against Rengan Rajaratnam, authorities said the 42-year-old New Yorker had not yet been arrested on the charges that include securities fraud.
Nike sees jump
in 3Q income
Nike Inc. said its third-quarter net income rose 55 percent, with a resurgence in North America and easing material costs helping offset continued weakness in China. Net income for the three months ended Feb. 28 rose to $866 million, or 73 cents per share. Revenue rose 9 percent, to $6.19 billion.
sales drop ahead
Fans of Lululemon's popular black yoga pants will have to sit tight. Executives said the company still hasn't determined the cause behind the too-sheer yoga garb that had to be pulled off shelves. As a result, the Canadian company said the withdrawal will cost it lost revenue of $12 million to $17 million in the first quarter and $45 million to $50 million for the rest of the year.
to economic gain
A measure of the U.S. economy's health over the next six months increased in February from January, a sign growth could be improving. The Conference Board's index of leading indicators rose 0.5 percent in February, to 94.8. That followed an equal gain in January, which was revised higher. The gauge is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.
H&M posts 1Q
drop in profits
Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz said unfavorable weather conditions and a tough economic climate contributed to a 10 percent fall in its fiscal first-quarter profit, to $380 million. The company, which operates several H&M stores in Utah, said sales during the quarter were $4.3 billion, up 2 percent from a year ago.