US stocks rise on strong economic data
NEW YORK (AP) — Only one day in for the stock market, but November is already looking at lot better than October.
U.S. stocks Thursday saw their best session since mid-September. The Dow closed up 136.16 points, or 1 percent, at 13,233. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,428. The Nasdaq composite index gained 43, or 1.4 percent, to 3,020. All three indexes fell in October, their first monthly losses since May.
Asia stocks mostly up on US, China data
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets advanced today as a batch of upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China and gains on Wall Street bolstered investor sentiment.
The latest data from the world's two largest economies showed a recovery in China's manufacturing sector and growing confidence among American consumers.
Benchmark crude oil fell below $87 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
Business events scheduled for Friday
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department today releases the monthly unemployment report, the last such report before Tuesday's election.
Also today, the Commerce Department releases September factory orders report.
US Oct. jobs report likely to show modest hiring
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government employment report being released today is highly anticipated as the last one before the presidential election next week and could have an impact on the results.
Economists say they expect the report solidify a picture of companies hiring steadily but cautiously.
Economists forecast that employers added 121,000 jobs in October, according to FactSet. That would be up slightly from September but below this year's average monthly gain of 146,000.
And analysts think the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.
Any increase would mean that President Barack Obama would face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt. That could provide ammunition for GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
The political effect of the report is unclear. Experts say that all but a few voters have likely made up their minds, particularly about the economy.
Power, transit outages will increase Sandy's costs
UNDATED (AP) — Now that more about the toll is known, could Superstorm Sandy become the second most expensive storm in U.S. history?
Forecasting firm Eqecat says it could rank right behind Hurricane Katrina.
Eqecat says the damage from the storm will likely be far worse than it previously predicted, largely a result of Sandy hitting the most densely populated area in the country.
The firm doubled its previous estimate for the total bill and now says Sandy may have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. The cost to insurance companies could run as low as $10 billion and as high as $20 billion.
The new numbers square with an earlier estimate from IHS Global Insight. IHS said Sandy could cause about $20 billion in property damages and between $10 billion and $30 billion in lost business.
If the damages hit $50 billion, it would make Sandy the second-costliest U.S. storm after Katrina in 2005. Katrina's overall costs were $108 billion. Taking inflation into account, that works out to $128 billion today.
Potential for Sandy scams prompts warnings
UNDATED (AP) — Scams are one of the risks arising from Superstorm Sandy.
Authorities warn of the likelihood of Sandy related fraud reaching far beyond the storm zone — from bogus charities seeking donations, to home repair scams and sales of flood-damaged vehicles.
State attorneys general, business and consumer groups and the Justice Department are among those cautioning consumers to be wary as requests for donations start arriving via email, text message, telephone and Twitter.
Experts advise that consumers keep a healthy degree of skepticism when pitched by solicitors, contractors and groups they don't know. The best advice is to give money to charities and businesses you have reason to trust.
With offices out, Daily News keeps publishing
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Daily News got both its Manhattan main office and its backup location — its printing plant in Jersey City — knocked out of commission by Hurricane Sandy.
Flooding in the main office trapped some staffers there overnight on Monday, and on Thursday, it still wasn't clear when the building would be usable. Some staffers worked from borrowed space, including at The Associated Press. Rival newspapers offered to help with printing.
The main office for the Daily News is on the southern tip of Manhattan, in an evacuation zone close to the water. Thursday evening, workers were still pumping water from the building.
The printing plant, however, was scheduled to start printing again Thursday evening, according to an editor at the paper.
SCHILLING'S GAMING COMPANY
RI sues Schilling over 38 Studios loan guarantee
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's economic development agency has sued former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and some of its former officials. It is alleged they committed fraud and other acts that misled the state into approving a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company.
The suit was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court four months after 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy following a spectacular collapse that has likely left the state on the hook for as much as $100 million.
Among other things, the lawsuit claims that executives at 38 Studios, as well as former Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Keith Stokes and others, knew the company would run out of money by 2012, but concealed that from the EDC board, which made the final decision on whether to back the deal.
The suit also alleges that Schilling, 38 Studios executives and others engaged in racketeering and conspiracy. The suit does not ask for a specific dollar amount but wants Schilling and others to repay the bonds and seeks triple damages.
38 Studios collapsed into bankruptcy in June. Rhode Island is likely responsible for about $100 million when interest is factored in on the bonds the state issued on the company's behalf.
MARTHA STEWART LIVING
Martha Stewart downsizes magazines, to cut jobs
NEW YORK (AP) — Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is downsizing its magazines and will cut publishing jobs as it increasingly focuses on online video and other digital content.
The lifestyle, media and merchandising company says the move could save it $33 to $35 million per year. It did not say how many employees are being eliminated, and a message was not immediately returned.
Martha Stewart will stop publishing its monthly "Everyday Food" magazine as a standalone publication, instead periodically wrapping it into the company's flagship "Martha Stewart Living" magazine. The company will also seek to sell its "Whole Living" health and lifestyle magazine. If the magazine cannot be sold, its content may also be incorporated into other company products.
LinkedIn 3Q results sail past expectations
NEW YORK (AP) — LinkedIn Corp. outpaced Wall Street's expectations with its third-quarter results. It has emerged as an investor favorite when other Internet companies have fallen from grace.
The professional networking company booked a profit in the third quarter, reversing a loss in the same period a year ago as revenue grew at a faster pace than analysts expected. Its stock climbed 6 percent in after-hours trading.
Embraced by investors, LinkedIn has been an exception among Internet companies that have gone public in recent years. Others, such as Facebook, Groupon and Zynga are all trading well below their initial public offering price. LinkedIn's stock price, meanwhile, has more than doubled since its May 2011 IPO .
LinkedIn said Thursday that it earned $2.3 million, or 2 cents per share, in the July-September period. That's up from a loss of $1.9 million, or 2 cents per share, a year ago.
Adjusted earnings were $25.1 million, or 22 cents per share, in the latest quarter, double what analysts expected.
Starbucks raises forecast as traffic climbs
NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks has raised its forecast for the year. The coffee chain says more customers are going to its cafes, even in the challenging global economy.
The Seattle-based company says global revenue at cafes open at least a year rose 6 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter, driven by higher customer traffic. The measure is a key gauge because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.
Starbucks lifted its guidance for the year ending in September 2013.
The company is also increasing its quarterly dividend 24 percent, to 21 cents.
Starbucks shares were up more than 7 percent in after-hours trading.