CEO quits embattled Lumber Liquidators
Lumber Liquidators CEO Robert Lynch has abruptly quit the company that is embroiled in an investigation over products imported from China. Shares tumbled more than 16 percent. The company said Lynch resigned "unexpectedly" and declined to provide more details on the resignation. The company earlier this month said that it had suspended the sale of all laminate flooring made in China after disclosing that the Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against it. At the time Lumber Liquidators said that it decided to suspend the sales while a board committee completes a review of its sourcing compliance program.
Stocks up slightly on another quiet day
The stock market eked out another record close as rising oil prices boosted energy stocks. Best Buy was among the biggest gainers after reporting earnings that exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts. Stocks are trading at record levels, but the market's gains this week have been modest. The Standard & Poor's closed up 4.97 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,130.82. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 0.34 point to 18,285.74. The Nasdaq composite rose 19.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,090.79. Trading volume was lower than average ahead of the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. on Monday.
Existing home sales down 3.3% last month
Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in April due mainly to relatively few listings and rising prices, providing evidence of the housing sector's uneven recovery. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. April marked the second straight month of the sales rate topping 5 million homes. Purchases have recovered from a disappointing 2014 because strong job growth and low mortgage rates have generated more would-be buyers. But that positive sign for the economy has also exposed a problem: Not enough people are listing their properties for sale to meet the demand. Only 5.3 months' supply of homes is on the market.
Initial jobless claims rise but remain low
More Americans sought unemployment aid last week, though the number of applications remains at a historically low level that is consistent with a healthy job market. Weekly applications increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, fell to a fresh 15-year low of 266,250. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the very low readings indicate that most employees have solid job security. Businesses also appear to be confident enough to keep their workers.