Unemployment applications drop

Unemployment applications drop


The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

Unemployment-aid applications spiked a month ago after Sandy shuttered businesses in the Northeast. Applications jumped to 451,000 in the week ended Nov. 10. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren’t paid.

Mortgage rate rises slightly


Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up this week just slightly above their record lows, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive to consumers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 3.34 percent, above last week’s rate of 3.32 percent. Two weeks ago, the rate dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

From wire reports

Selected local stocks


Aqua America, .70, 24.95 —.06

Avalon Holdings,3.89—.01

Clear Channel, .73 76.70 .61

Cortland Bancorp, 9.75.00

Farmers Nat., .126.49 .04

First Energy, 2.20, 41.56—.46

FirstMerit Corp., .64,14.05 .03

First Niles Financial, .32,6.85.00

First Place Fin., .0135.00

FNB Corp., .48,10.86.01

General Motors,24.57—.43

General Electric, .68,21.37.14

Motors Liquidation, .0422.00

Huntington Bank, .16, 6.16.06

JP Morgan Chase, 1.20,41.47.27

Key Corp, .20,7.93.01

LaFarge, 14.70 .05

Macy’s, .80, 38.92.05

Parker Hannifin, 1.64, 82.33—.57

PNC, 1.60,55.33—.56

RTI Intl. Metals,24.82.06

Simon Prop. Grp.,4.40,151.412.14

Stoneridge 4.79 .09

United Community Fin. 2.95—.03

Selected prices at 4 p.m. Thursday. Provided by Stifel Nicolaus. Not to be construed as an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any security.

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