Stocks Dip at Open as Shutdown Continues

U.S. stocks traded slightly lower at open on Thursday as the government shutdown entered its third day and investors waited for a breakthrough in Washington. A report on weekly jobless
claims was better than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 64.87
points, or 0.43%, to 15,068.27. The S&P 500 was last down 6.71 points, or 0.40%, at
1,687.16. The Nasdaq Composite was fell 7.02 points, or 0.18%, at 3,816.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met Wednesday for the first time since
the federal government shut down, emerging more than an hour later with no evidence of
progress.

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week but
remained at pre-recession levels, a signal of growing strength in the labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted
308,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

U.S. retail sales may increase 3.9 percent during the holiday season, as political and
economic uncertainties damp consumer confidence.The National Retail Federation, the
nation’s largest retail trade group, is expected to release Thursday a forecast that sales
in November and December will rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion. That’s above the 3.5
percent increase a year ago and the 10-year average in holiday sales growth of 3.3
percent.

Cerberus Capital Management is seeking a confidentiality agreement that would allow it to
examine the books and internal operations of BlackBerry, a person briefed on Cerberus’s
plans said on Wednesday.

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