The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rebounded last week, returning to levels consistent with only modest job growth after a seasonal quirk caused a sharp drop the prior period.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims had dropped by 24,000 in the prior week and a combined 36,000 over the previous two weeks.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 365,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 1,500 to 375,500 – staying in the middle of the range it has held for much of 2012.
Traders at Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Societe Generale SA (GLE) and Credit Agricole SA (ACA) are under investigation for interest-rate manipulation in a global probe that led to a record fine for Barclays Plc (BARC) last month, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Regulators are examining the possible roles of Michael Zrihen at Credit Agricole, Didier Sander at HSBC and Christian Bittar at Deutsche Bank, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the probe is continuing. Investigators are focusing on their links to Philippe Moryoussef, an ex-trader at Barclays, which was fined $451 million for rigging the euro and London interbank offered rates, the person said.
Morgan Stanley’s (MS) second-quarter profit dropped 50% as the bank recorded a weak performance in its institutional securities business, which includes investment banking and trading results. Shares slid 5.2% to $13.27 premarket after earnings fell short of analyst expectations.
Walgreen Co. (WAG) and pharmacy-benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) struck a multi-year pharmacy network agreement, concluding a long-running dispute between the two companies. Shares of Walgreen, which has struggled with slumping sales since leaving the Express Scripts network on Jan. 1, surged 14% to $35.23 in premarket trade. Fellow pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) shed 5.1% to $46.00 while Express Scripts added 3.7% to $59.83.
EBay Inc. (EBAY) said Wednesday both its core business and its PayPal payments unit have continued to turn in strong performances, helping send the Internet pioneer’s shares up 6.7% to $43.15 premarket. Revenue beat expectations.
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) boosted its guidance for full-year earnings, alleviating some worries about tech spending, even as its revenue fell short of expectations for the fourth-straight quarter amid “pretty significant” currency headwinds. Shares gained 2.6% to $193.17 premarket.
Qualcomm Inc.’s (QCOM) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 17% as the chip maker continued to see strong demand for its smartphone technology. Shares traded 5.8% higher at $59.28 premarket.
Select Comfort Corp.’s (SCSS) second-quarter earnings climbed 50% as the mattress seller booked strong sales through its company-exclusive distribution system. Results beat analyst expectations and the company also raised its earnings target for the year. Shares jumped 22% to $26.50 premarket.
Mellanox Technologies Ltd.’s (MLNX, MLNX.TV) second-quarter earnings soared as the data-storage company’s better-than-expected revenue broke a new record. Shares surged 46% to $95.70 premarket as adjusted earnings sharply beat analysts’ expectations.
PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) plans to merge its chemicals business with Georgia Gulf Corp. (GGC) in a $2.1 billion cash-and-stock deal. The paints-and-chemicals supplier agreed to form a new company by separating its chemicals business and merging it with Georgia Gulf. PPG shareholders will receive 50.5% of the shares of the merged company. Georgia Gulf shares surged 14% to $32.99 premarket; PPG shares added 1.6% to $105.87.
Skyworks Solutions Inc.’s (SWKS) fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 4.3% as the wireless-semiconductor company struggled with higher costs that outpaced improved revenue. However, shares popped 8.1% to $28.80 premarket as the company topped its quarterly estimates.
Diana Containerships Inc. (DCIX) plans to offer 8.1 million shares to raise funds for general corporate purposes, including vessel acquisitions and working capital. Shares fell 16% to $6.07 premarket.
Nanosphere Inc. (NSPH) intends to offer shares to raise proceeds for general corporate purposes and working capital. The medical diagnostic-test developer didn’t indicate how many shares it plans to sell. Shares sank 5% to $2.50 premarket.
Johnson Controls Inc.’s (JCI) fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 17% as the car battery maker saw a rise in revenue along with lower expenses. Shares slumped 6.4% to $26.50, however, as results came in below Wall Street estimates and the company’s previous growth forecast.
Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ANTH) said it will offer an undisclosed number of shares, intending to use the proceeds for the drug maker’s general corporate purposes. Shares were down 15% to $1.13 premarket.
American Express Co.’s (AXP) second-quarter profit was essentially flat as the pace of customer card spending slowed, though it continued to benefit from historically low loan losses.
Capital One Financial Corp.’s (COF) second-quarter earnings plunged 90% from a year earlier as the company booked a slew of charges related to its acquisition of HSBC Holdings PLC’s (HBC, 0005.HK, HSBA.LN) U.S. credit-card portfolio and a settlement with U.S. regulators.
F5 Networks Inc.’s (FFIV) fiscal third-quarter profit rose 16% on healthy network-security demand, though the company warned cautious economic sentiment would drag on current-quarter results.
Greenhill & Co. (GHL) said its second-quarter profit fell 90% to $2.2 million on significantly lower revenue from advisory services compared to last year’s strong quarter.
Verizon Communications Inc.’s (VZ) second-quarter earnings rose 13% as the company added more contract wireless customers and increased its base of FiOS subscribers.
Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM), which owns the Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains, saw its profit rise 4.8% in the latest quarter, as improvements at Taco Bell boosted its U.S. business, which is becoming more important given the pullback in China’s economic growth.