US jobless claims rise to 419,000
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point of the pandemic, even as the job market appears to be rebounding on the strength of a reopened economy. Jobless claims increased to 419,000 from 368,000 the previous week. The weekly number of first-time applications for benefits, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January. Economists say the increase is most likely a blip caused by some one-time factors. Applications for jobless aid jumped last week, for example, in Michigan, where some auto plants have temporarily shut down production because of supply shortages.
Biden admin stepping up community grants
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration says it is making $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo tells The Associated Press her agency will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The goal is to help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries.
Indexes inch higher on Wall Street
NEW YORK (AP) — Major indexes edged higher on Wall Street after a day of muted trading, preserving their gains for the week. The S&P 500 emerged from a midday slump to end 0.2% higher Thursday. Even though most stocks in the S&P 500 fell, gains for several tech heavyweights, including Apple and Microsoft, pushed the index higher. The Nasdaq added 0.4% while a measure of small-company stocks lost 1.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed a gain of 0.1%. Trading was subdued as investors reviewed the latest corporate earnings and a surprise increase in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits.
Southwest, American post 2Q profits
DALLAS (AP) — Travelers are returning to flying, and it’s showing up in higher revenue for the airlines. On Thursday, both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported second-quarter profits thanks to generous federal pandemic relief that covers most of their labor costs. The reports show that airlines are making progress in bouncing back after the coronavirus crushed air travel. But they still have a long way to go before they recover fully. Southwest says it made money in June even without federal financial aid, which CEO Gary Kelly is calling an important milestone.
Twitter posts stronger-than-expected Q2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter has posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the second quarter. The strong numbers were due to growing advertising demand across all geographic regions and types of ad products. The San Francisco-based company earned $65.6 million, or 8 cents per share, in the April-June quarter. That’s compared with a loss of $1.38 billion, or $1.75 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 74% to $1.19 billion from $683.4 million, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations. Twitter’s shares jumped 5% in after-hours trading.