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Check Out Line: Jobs still hard to come by

Check out the rise in the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits.

Joblesspic - final

Hurt by layoffs in seasonal industries, the initial claims for state unemployment insurance rose 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000 in the week ended Dec. 5 from 457,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims climbing but only to 460,000.

The data that came in after five straight weeks of declining claims suggest that many casualties of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression are still having a difficult time finding jobs.

Also in the basket:

Overseas sales prop Costco results

Dollar General swings to profit

Apple plots reboots of iTunes for Web - WSJ

 (Reuters Photo)

Check Out Line: Nike’s U.S. hurdle


nike.jpgCheck out Nike just not doing it in the U.S.
The athletic shoe and apparel maker apparently is not immune to the sluggish U.S. economy. The company said Wednesday that U.S. orders for goods through November were flat.
It also said sales in the fourth quarter rose 4 percent in the U.S., compared with a 16 percent increase for the entire company. U.S. apparel sales rose only 2 percent.
Nike said it will focus on more premium merchandise that is better distributed and can stand out. It also stressed that U.S. profit margins are not eroding.
For Nike, getting through the tough U.S. economy might just be an invigorating workout.
“Strong companies who are able to navigate through those tough times can come out even stronger,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said in a conference call.
Ooh, feel the burn!
Also in the basket:
Anheuser-Busch to reject $46.3 billion InBev offer
The road runs out: Streetwear adapts as market implodes (WWD)

Steve & Barry’s Hits Trouble: Hyped clothing retailer hires turnaround help (WSJ)