US Jobless Claims Fall By 5K
Less Americans filed first-time claims for jobless benefits last week for the third consecutive time, the Labor Department reported today. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 457,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 462,000. The 4-week moving average was 471,250, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 475,500.
This is a sign the labor market is gradually improving along with the economy.
Citi's Primerica unit files for IPO
Citigroups' life insurance unit, Primerica, filed for an initial public offering of up to $252 million as part of Citigroup's plan to shed assets outside its main banking business. Citi expects to sell 18 million Primerica shares to the public and 17.2 million shares to private equity firm Warburg Pincus, plus warrants. Post-IPO, Citi's stake will be 32%-46%, while Warburg Pincus' stake will be 23%-33%.
MetLife to Pay $1.5 Billion in Policy Dividends
MetLife, Inc. announced today that its life insurance subsidiary,
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, approved an aggregate payment amount of
approximately $1.5 billion in policy dividend payments to eligible life
insurance policyholders for 2010.
The company says the dividend payout not only reflects MetLife`s financial strength and stability, but also its commitment to its policyholders today and for the future
Producer Prices Post Largest Fall In 7 months
Producer prices fell more steeply than expected in February as energy costs fell, giving the Federal Reserve leeway to hold interest rates exceptionally low for an extended period as it has promised. The Labor Department on Wednesday said the index for prices paid at the farm and factory gate fell 0.6 percent, the largest decline since July, after increasing 1.4 percent in January. Even excluding volatile energy and food costs, core producer prices rose just 0.1 percent last month.
Price producer price pressure is pretty moderate.
IBM Launches New Line of Servers
IBM today unveiled new System x servers that offer increased memory and can help improve efficiency to allow customers to better exploit virtualization and support more sophisticated workloads.
These new products mean IBM has completely revamped its line up of two-socket x86 servers
Activists Say Whole Foods Bad for Planet
Reuters is reporting that at the Whole
Foods Market shareholder meeting in Vancouver, BC, the Sustainable Supply
Chain Coalition, an alliance of environmental groups, food activist
organizations and labor unions, rallied today in support of four shareholder
resolutions and called for a change in Whole Foods Market, Inc. and its supplier United Natural Foods Inc. unsustainable
business practices. "I am concerned about Whole Foods' expansion into Canada," said Don McGill,
Teamster Vice President, Canada. "Whole Foods workers do a great job but how
can the Canadian workforce expect Whole Foods management to operate with
respect for workers' rights when we have seen their violations in the United
This could snowball, even if only from a PR standpoint. Having the teamsters against you is not a good thing.
Estee Lauder Launches Global Marketing Division
Cosmetics manufacturer and marketer The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. has created a new division, The Corporate Marketing Center of Excellence, aimed at boosting its global marketing efforts and driving traffic to its e-commerce sites. The company appointed Johnson & Johnson marketing executive Georgia Garinois-Melenikiotou, to oversee the division as senior vice president, corporate marketing, effective April 1.
In her new role, Garinois-Melenikiotou will oversee the corporate marketing team that supports Estee Lauder’s brand-specific marketers as well as its research and development and regional teams. She will lead efforts to strengthen consumer marketing effectiveness across the organization.
Moody's upgrades Dr Pepper Snapple Debt
MarketWatch.com is reporting that Moody's Investor Service said Monday that it raised the long term debt rating of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. to Baa2 from Baa3. The outlook is positive. The upgrade was due to "good business momentum and substantial improvement in financial metrics since DPSG's spin off from Cadbury in May 2008," Moody's said in a statement.
This can help Dr Pepper Snapple over time to reduce their borrowing costs.
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