FINANCE

Jobless Rolls at 26-Year High

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. Unemployment benefit rolls swelled to a 26-year high in the last week of December, data showed on Thursday.

The Labor Department said the number of people still on jobless rolls after drawing an initial week of aid jumped 101,000 to 4.61 million in the week ended Dec. 27, the latest for which the data is available.

That was the highest since Nov. 1982 and beat analysts’ expectations for a 4.50 million total.

While the overall size of the benefit rolls has been marching steadily higher, the number of U.S. workers submitting new claims for state unemployment aid dropped unexpectedly last week, a second consecutive decline.

Initial claims fell 24,000 to 467,000 in the week ended Jan. 3, the department said, well below the 540,000 new claims economists had expected. It was the lowest reading since the week ended Oct. 11, 2008 when it was at 463,000.

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Wal-Mart, Netflix accused of monopoly building

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores and Netflix have been accused of trying to build a monopoly for online DVD rentals in a consumer lawsuit filed Jan. 2 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, according to reports.

The plaintiffs claim that in 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to end its online rental business and refer customersto Netflix, which in turn agreed to promote Wal-Mart’s DVD movie sales.

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Family Dollar posts 1Q earnings growth

BY CSA STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. Family Dollar Stores reported that net income per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 13.5% to 42 cents compared with 37 cents for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net income for the quarter increased 14.1% to $59.3 million compared with net income of $51.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008.

As previously reported, sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 were approximately $1.754 billion, or 4.2% above sales of approximately $1.683 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Comparable-store sales increased 2.1%.

For the fiscal year ending August 29, 2009, the company expects net sales will increase 4% to 6% and expects comparable-store sales will increase 2% to 4%. Anticipating continued strong sales of consumable merchandise, the company expects earnings per share will be between $1.63 and $1.81 in fiscal 2009.

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