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Dow, S&P continue to rally...Jobless claims fall...Retailers report modest March gains

Thursday - 4/11/2013, 11:50am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard and Poor's 500 index are moving further into record territory in early trading on Wall Street. After surging yesterday, the Nasdaq composite has been moving between small gains and losses.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department says the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 42,000 last week, to 346,000, reversing sharp gains over the previous two weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose by 3,000 to 358,000.

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. retailers are reporting modest sales gains for March. The research firm Retail Metrics says 14 retailers report revenue at stores open at least a year -- a key indicator of retail health -- rose an average of 0.6 percent. Economists monitor consumer spending because it accounts for more than 70 percent of economic activity.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Prices paid by U.S. importers fell last month after two straight increases, driven down by cheaper oil. The Labor Department says import prices dropped half a percent in March after a 0.6 percent gain in February. Export prices also declined, by 0.4 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mortgage rates have fallen sharply this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.43 percent from 3.54 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating to 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 2.65 percent from 2.74 percent last week. That's slightly above the record low of 2.63 percent.


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