Daily business briefing: Unemployment claims rise

August 22, 2013 

(*0*)The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits was back up last week. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that applications for first-time benefits rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 in the week ending Aug. 17. That's up from 323,000 in the previous week, which was the lowest since January 2008. Read more at www.bnd.com/business. ...

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. invited retailers, suppliers and government officials to a summit to drive more domestic manufacturing. The two-day event is expected to draw more than 1,500 people. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has pledged to buy $50 billion more U. S. made goods over the next decade -- more than 10 percent of what Wal-Mart will sell at retail this year. Learn more at www.bnd.com/business. ...

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Second quarter losses reported by Sears is the latest big-box retailer to report weakening sales results. For the period that ended Aug. 3, Sears Holdings Corp. lost $194 million, or $1.83 per share. That compares with a loss of $132 million, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier. Wal-Mart and Macy's also reported losses during the quarter as consumers seem hesitant to spend in this uncertain economy. For more information, go to www.bnd.com/business. ...

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J.C. Penney is adopting a one-year shareholder rights plan to avoid any takeover attempts. This allows existing shareholders to buy more shares at a low price if an investor or entity not approved by the board buys up a large chunk of company shares. The Plano, Texas, retailer said the move was not made in response to a takeover. Find out more at www.bnd.com/business.

-- Will Buss, BND business writer

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