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Hostess Attracts Bidders
Hostess Attracts Bidders

During a bankruptcy court hearing Thursday for Hostess Brands, Inc. in White Plains, N.Y., a bank for Hostess, Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners, said the list of interested parties now includes at least five national food retailers. "Not only are these buyers serious, but they are expecting to spend substantial sums," Scherer added. Reports are that over 100 parties have contacted bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. about buying the iconic baked-goods lines including famous baked items such as Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread. The defunct baker announced last week that Hostess had been approached by a numerous prospective buyers, including packaged-food makers, food retailers and "big-box" retailers. Hostess was still able to generate annual sales of nearly $2.4 billion amidst their financial woes with most attributed largely to high pension costs.

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that pending home sales rose 5.2% during October, rising to 104.8 from 99.6 in September. From October 2011 pending home sales were up 13.2% for the 18th month of annual gains. "We've had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we're seeing more impact now from steady job creation, and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement. By region during October, gains in pending home sales were seen in the Midwest and South, which more than offset declines in the hurricane-hit Northeast and West.

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 in the week ended November 24. From two weeks ago, initial jobless claims were revised up to 416,000 from original reading of 410,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level. Over the past month, average new jobless claims rose by 7,500 to 405,250. Continuing claims decreased by 70,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.29 million in the week ended November 17, per the Labor Department. About 5.18 million people received some type of state or federal benefit in the week ended November 10, down 58,623 from previous week.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday, the U.S. economy expanded at a pace of 2.7% during Q3, mostly due to higher inventories and exports. Commerce originally put Q3 gross domestic product at 2.0%. The increase in consumer spending during Q3 was cut sharply to a rate of 1.4% from 2% originally reported. For the quarter, the increase in disposal personal income was revised down to 0.5% from 0.8%. Final sales were trimmed to a 1.9% increase from 2.1%. Business capital investment fell 2.2% versus original reports of 1.3%. Equipment and software investments were revised to a 2.7% decline from original no change from first estimate. Excluding food and energy, inflation measured by the PCE index rose 1.6%. During Q3, inventories rose by $61.3 billion compared to $41.4 billion in Q2. Exports were revised up to a 1.1% increase from a 1.6% decline. Imports were revised to 0.1% rise from a 0.2% drop.

William Dudley, President of the New York Federal Reserve said the unemployment rate is unacceptably high as he weighs whether the Fed should continue bond purchases into 2013. Dudley, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said he looks at "the growth momentum within the overall economy and a range of labor indicators, including the unemployment rate, payrolls, the participation rate, the employment to population ratio and job finding rates" to determine whether there's "substantial improvement in the labor market." Dudley also said Q4 GDP will be hit by between 0.25 and 0.50 percentage points by Hurricane Sandy.
 

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Nov 29, 2012


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