WASHINGTON (AP) - Negative economic reports today include a
bigger-than-expected jump in new unemployment claims last week. The
Labor Department reports 626,000 laid-off workers filed.
The total of new jobless claims is far more than analysts'
expectations of 583,000.
Also today, the Commerce Department reports the fifth straight
monthly decline in factory orders in December -- a 3.9 percent
Meanwhile, many retailers are reporting January sales declines,
with Wal-Mart the big exception.
On Wall Street, stocks were moderately lower for most of the
morning, but have turned higher in midday trading.