April 4 - Summary of business headlines: HP Chairman resigns, Jobless claims surprise jump; BOJ monetary move jolts markets; Best Buy boosts Samsung presence; Facebook's big reveal. Bobbi Rebell reports.
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Despite new worries about the job market, stocks managed to come back from intraday losses to finish out Thursday's session with gains.
Another management shakeup at Hewlett Packard, Chairman Ray Lane has resigned. Lane has come under fire from shareholders for his role in the costly acquisition of British Software firm Autonomy.
Weekly jobless claims came in worse than expected at 385,000-hitting a four-month high last week. It was the third week in a row that the number of Americans filing for benefits rose- a decline had been expected.
That coupled with a disappointing report on private jobs earlier this week- is increasing worries about Friday's monthly report. Employers are expected to have added 200,000 new jobs in March. The jobless rate is expected to remain at 7.7 percent.
J.P. Morgan Senior Economist Jim Glassman:
SOUNDBITE: JIM GLASSMAN, SENIOR ECONOMIST, J.P. MORGAN, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I wouldn't be surprised if the number came in on the softer side of expectations because it hasn't been very strong. But to me there is no difference between 100 to 250 because its all- that's noise a lot of it. And for an economy that is only beginning to get traction I think I'd never expect job growth to be solidly in the 200- 300 range, where I expect it will go eventually, until the economy picks up speed."
Facebook unveiled something they call "Home" software. The family of apps lets users show mobile versions of their newsfeed and messages on their home screen. It's only available on Android devices and launches April 12th. There will also be phones pre-loaded with the software, as part of an exclusive agreement with AT&T.
Retailer Best Buy was the top S&P percentage gainer. Samsung says it's going to be installing brand shops in more than 1400 Best Buy stores this year. The stores will not only showcase Samsung products, but also have specially trained Samsung staff. Also, Best Buy said it would offer a 30 percent discount on iPad 3 tablets in the United States.
In Europe: shares fell sharply as the European Central Bank kept its interest rates on hold, and failed to unveil any new initiatives. Japanese shares rallied after the Bank of Japan overhauled its monetary policy- with an aggressive plan that will double its government bond holdings in two years.
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