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Jobless Claims Dip; Orders For Durable Goods Are Soft

The number of first-time claims for jobless benefits dipped slightly last week, to 370,000 from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The 4-week moving average for claims — which economists say gives a better picture of the trend — was also 370,000, down by 5,500.

Reuters writes that the news suggests "the labor market continues to expand at a moderate pace."

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau says orders for durable goods (equipment and other things designed to last three or more years), rose 0.2 percent in April from March. Though slight, the increase was a rebound after the 3.7 percent drop in March.

But, orders were down 0.6 percent in April if you exclude the transportation sector. And orders for "non-military goods excluding aircraft" fell 1.9 percent, Bloomberg News notes. The news points to "a slowdown in U.S. business investment," Bloomberg adds.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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