Dow Jones average climbs with jobs report due this morning
NEW YORK (AP) — A more encouraging than expected report on new unemployment claims helped Wall Street to feel more positive in the latest session. That rally will be tested today as the Labor Department releases the more meaningful monthly jobs report.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 81 points to close at 13,575. Aluminum giant Alcoa led the 30 stocks in the Dow with a 3.3 percent surge.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed 10 points to 1,461. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points to 3,149.
The job-market report helped drive the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.67 percent from 1.62 percent late Wednesday. Traders tend to sell Treasurys following better economic news.
Asia stocks higher ahead of US jobs report
BANGKOK (AP) — Encouraging retail sales and a better-than-expected jobs report from the U.S. helped boost Asian stock markets today ahead of a monthly report on employment in the world's top economy.
Although U.S. retailers reported slower sales growth in September, analysts said the results are an encouraging sign as a bigger slowdown is usually experienced in that month.
Despite global economic woes — including a debt crisis in Europe and a growth slowdown in China — stock markets have gained ground, thanks in part to investment optimism fueled by the actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks.
Benchmark crude oil fell to hover above $91 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro but fell against the yen.
Business events scheduled for Friday
WASHINGTON (AP) — With the economy the key issue in the presidential election, today's unemployment report takes on added gravity.
There will be only one more report issued before Election Day after that.
The economy has added an average of just 87,400 jobs a month since April, down from an average of 226,000 jobs a month in the January-March quarter.
Economists predict employers added 111,000 jobs last month, only slightly more than the 96,000 jobs added in August. The unemployment rate is expected to tick up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in August. The rate has been above 8 percent for the past three and a half years. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
Later today, the Federal Reserve releases consumer credit data for August.
BOJ defies pressure, interest rates unchanged
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's central bank has ended its latest policy meeting with no change in the country's key interest rate, resisting government pressure for further easing.
The Bank of Japan said in a statement today that it expected the world's third-largest economy to "level off" for now, with inflation at about 0 percent.
In a rare move, the government's national policy minister told reporters he attended the central bank's meeting to appeal for more dramatic action to spur growth.
He and other government officials have recently voiced frustration over the failure of policies to end Japan's protracted bout of deflation, or falling prices, which are a drag on economic growth.
The BOJ said it would keep policy unchanged for now but continue asset purchases and other "powerful monetary easing," such as its decision, announced last month, to increase and extend its purchases of Japanese government bonds and treasury bills under its stimulus program.
Fed open to linking rate hike to economic gauge
WASHINGTON (AP) — How can people know when the Federal Reserve will want to raise interest rates, when that time inevitably comes?
Newly released meeting minutes indicate the nation's central bankers want to help better understand the tricky timing.
The Fed has told investors that it plans to keep short-term rates low for at least another three years. But it appears to be leaning toward setting a more specific target, according to minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting.
Most members agreed at the Sept. 12-13 meeting that linking a future rate increase to a level of unemployment or some other numeric target could be useful. The minutes show members have yet to agree on what the economic target should be. But the discussion signals another option the Fed might pursue if its latest stimulus efforts don't do enough to boost the still-weak economy.
After last month's meeting, the Fed said it planned to keep its benchmark short-term rate near zero until mid-2015, six months later than it previously planned. And it left open the possibility of taking other steps.
The Fed also agreed at the meeting to spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage-backed securities to drive longer-term interest rates lower and boost economic growth.
The Fed has kept the short-term rate at a record low since December 2008.
AA says it knows why seats came loose on planes
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines has canceled dozens of flights as it scrambles to fix seats that could pop loose during flight.
The airline says it has come up with a fix and has begun pulling planes out of service to make repairs.
Airline officials say the work will be done by Saturday.
Seats came loose on three recent flights involving planes that had been recently refurbished. Seats had been removed and reinstalled as part of the overhaul.
American inspected 48 planes earlier this week but returned them all to flying after fixing problems with seats on some of the planes — officials didn't have a precise number.
Samsung puts quarterly profit at record high again
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics tipped all-time high quarterly operating profit, likely driven by strong sales of high-end smartphones that offset weak semiconductor orders.
The guidance for Samsung's third quarter earnings showed it was on track to report a record-high quarterly profit for a fourth straight quarter, despite legal tussles with Apple Inc. that resulted in a $1 billion compensation judgment in August.
But analysts said a rise in marketing spending will decrease the company's profit in the October-December quarter and sustaining fat margins in premium mobile devices could be increasingly tough.
Samsung estimated in a regulatory filing that its July-September operating income nearly doubled from a year earlier to $7.3 billion.
The result, which is 21 percent higher than Samsung's previous record high profit posted in the April-June quarter, was better than the market consensus.
GOOGLE BOOK BATTLE
Google, publishers shelve book-scanning suit
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google and major book publishers have settled a lengthy legal battle over digital copyrights, but a bigger dispute still looms with thousands of authors who allege that Google is illegally profiting from their works.
The truce just announced ends a federal lawsuit filed in 2005 by several members of the Association of American Publishers after Google began stockpiling its Internet search index with digital duplicates of books scanned from libraries.
Google has maintained that its scanning is covered by fair-use provisions of copyright law, although it offered to remove specific books from its index upon request. It also showed only snippets of the copyrighted books unless permission was given to show more.
Publishers and authors insisted that Google needed explicit permission from them before making the digital copies, let alone showing even snippets of text from the books on Google's website.
The scaled-down agreement with publishers is likely to make more copyright-protected books available online. Most of those will be sold through Google Play, a digital store. Publishers will have the right to release digital copies of their books in Google Play or remove them from Google's search index entirely.
Curt Schilling might have to sell bloody sock
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling might have to sell or give up the famed blood-stained sock he wore on the team's way to the 2004 World Series championship. The funds could be used to cover millions of dollars in loans guaranteed to his failed video game company.
Schilling's Providence, Rhode Island-based 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy in June. It listed the sock as collateral to Bank Rhode Island in a September filing with the Massachusetts secretary of state's office. The sock is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Schilling also listed a baseball hat believed to have been worn by New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig and his collection of World War II memorabilia, including some the filing said is being held at the National World War II Museum.
Schilling told WEEI-AM in Boston Thursday that possibly having to sell the sock is part of "having to pay for your mistakes." He said that "I put myself out there" in personally guaranteeing loans to 38 Studios and he is seeking what he called an amicable solution with the bank.
Schilling has said he invested as much as $50 million in 38 Studios and has lost all his baseball earnings.