Unemployment claims begin rising as economy cools

Herald staff

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans filing new claims for state unemployment insurance edged up last week, suggesting that the economy’s hunger for an increasing supply of new workers is easing.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that new claims for jobless benefits rose by an unexpected 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 for the week ending Nov. 18. That was the highest level since the beginning of the month.

"The numbers are in line with the fact that the economy is slowing somewhat," said economist Clifford Waldman of Waldman Associates.

  • Wednesday prices: Gold sold for $266.15 a troy ounce, silver sold for $4.64 and platinum sold for $583.30.

  • Euro expects a boost: Solid economic growth, tighter government budgets and sinking unemployment should boost Europe’s anemic single currency next year, according to European Union forecasts released Wednesday. Economic growth in the 15-nation EU peaked this year at 3.4 percent — its highest level since 1989 — although still behind the surging U.S. economy, according to the biannual forecasts.

  • Japanese firm eyes AT&ampT Wireless: NTT DoCoMo Inc. is reportedly near an agreement to buy a stake in AT&ampT Wireless Group for $9 billion, giving the Japanese company a foothold in the U.S. mobile phone market while bolstering AT&ampT’s shaky financial state.

  • Coke cools on Quaker Oats: Coca-Cola Co. has abandoned its pursuit of Quaker Oats Co., with the soft drink company’s board rejecting a deal reportedly worth $15.75 billion to acquire the maker of Gatorade, oatmeal and Life cereal.
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