Sale of New Single Family Homes Rise|
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales of new single-family
homes in the U.S. climbed to an annual rate of 372,000 in July from 359,000 in
June while sales in June were revised up from an original reading of 350,000.
The Northeast experienced the largest increase where new home sales rose nearly
77% after falling 55% in June. Other data for new home sales: increase of 7.7%
in Midwest; decline by 1.6% in the South and a drop by 0.9% in the West. New
home sales are 25.3% higher compared to one year ago. Median price of new homes
dropped 2.1% to $224,200 in July, from $229,100 in June. The supply of new homes
available for purchase on the U.S. market fell to 4.6 months at the current
sales pace from 4.8 months in prior month. The combination of faster home sales
and a slow rate of construction resulted in the number of new homes on sale
falling to a record low of 142,000 in July.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for U.S. jobless
benefits rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 in the week ended August
18. Initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 368,000 from an
original reading of 366,000, based on more complete data collected at the state
level. Over the past month, average new jobless claims climbed by 3,750 to
368,000. In the week ended August 11, continuing jobless claims - which reflect
the number of people already receiving benefits - increased by 4,000 to a
seasonally adjusted 3.32 million. Nearly 5.59 million people received some form
of state or federal benefit in the week ended August 4, down 109,812 from prior
Shares of electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) were higher by 2% into
mid-afternoon trading Thursday after talks have resumed with founder Richard
Schulze about conducting due diligence as part of his effort to buy the company.
Reportedly, after the company missed Wall Street's targets on August 21, Best
Buy management reached out to Schulze in attempt to further discuss, his
proposal. Also reported was that incoming Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly will get a
pay package worth up to $32 million over three years.
Late Wednesday, Premier Foods PLC and Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) reached a
conditional agreement for Premier Foods to sell its sweet spreads and jellies
business to Hain for $317 million in cash and Hain shares. Hain reported Q4
results and issued its financial outlook for fiscal 2013 after the close
Wednesday. Into late day trading Thursday, Hain shares were higher by 19%.
Shares of Israel's Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (ROSG) continued their rally Thursday,
soaring higher by 39% into late afternoon trading. When the diagnostics
developer announced it was expanding its sales force and laboratory operations
in anticipation of increased demand for its MiRview mets2 diagnostic assays,
shares have been on the move, since August 20. On May 12 shares hit a 52-week
low of $1.40 and since the beginning of the week have risen over 58%.
'CareBears' pacifiers - sold at various discount and dollar stores including
Wal-Mart (WMT) from October 2009 through June 2012 for about a dollar - have
been recalled on Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission because
the products pose a choking hazard. The Chinese-made items were imported by IDM
Group of New York and "fail to meet federal safety standards [because] the
nipples can separate from the base," the CPSC said.
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Aug 23, 2012