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US Jobless Claims Drop, Retail Sales Slip

Reports published Thursday painted a mixed picture of the U.S. economy, with both unemployment claims and retail sales declining. The Labor Department said the number of Americans signing up for unemployment assistance last week dropped 36,000, to a nationwide total of 289,000. The drop reversed an increase of 40,000 in the previous week. That jump was probably weather-related, given that low temperatures and storms shut construction sites and schools and caused some temporary...

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