Stocks open lower…Fewer seek jobless benefits…Nike investigates shoe mishap
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are lower on Wall Street, threatening to end a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index. Health care and internet companies fell the most in early trading. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, lost 0.8 percent and Johnson & Johnson lost 1.2 percent after disclosing that it had received federal subpoenas related to litigation over its baby powder.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs declined and hiring is likely strong. The Labor Department said weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000, a very low level by historical standards. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 235,750.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods posted a 1.2 percent advance in December. It’s the best showing in four months, but much of the strength came from a surge in orders for commercial aircraft. In a worrisome development, a key category that tracks business investment fell for a second straight month.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home sales fell 1.2 percent in January to their worst pace in more than three years, as persistent affordability problems have put a harsh chill in the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors says that sales of existing homes declined 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million last month, the slowest sales rate since November 2015.
NEW YORK (AP) – Nike says it’s investigating why Duke freshman Zion Williamson split a shoe open during a basketball game against rival North Carolina. But the sportswear giant says it’s an “isolated occurrence.” The Beaverton, Oregon-based company says it’s concerned and says quality and performance of its products are of “utmost importance.” The shoe malfunction forced Williamson to leave the game with a knee sprain. Top-ranked Duke lost the game, 88-72.