New applications for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in five weeks, but they remained in a range usually associated with better labor-market conditions, government data showed. Initial claims climbed by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000 in the week ended March 3, the Labor Department said. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 354,000 from 351,000. The four-week average of claims, meanwhile, was virtually unchanged at 355,000, which is near a four-year low.Starbucks to offer own single-cup machine
Starbucks Corp., the world's largest coffee-shop operator, plans to introduce a new single-cup brewer this year at a time when the Keurig coffee machines made by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. already face new rivals. The Verismo machine will make espresso-based beverages and brewed coffee, Seattle-based Starbucks said. Starbucks said it will advertise and sell the machine and single-cup pods through a "strategic relationship" with closely held Krueger GmbH.First rise in household debt since recession
For the first time since the Great Recession, household debt saw a quarterly gain, according to Federal Reserve data that show the U.S. deleveraging trend paused, at the very least, at the end of last year. Household debt edged up 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter, the Fed reported in its flow-of-funds report, as consumer credit surged at nearly a 7 percent annualized rate. Household debt had declined for 13 consecutive periods before the slender fourth-quarter advance.AMR asks for longer exclusivity window
American Airlines parent AMR Corp. asked a bankruptcy court to extend the period of time during which it alone holds the right to file a plan of reorganization. Seeking an extension is "customary" in complex bankruptcies, and more time will let American focus on restructuring and airline operations, said Sean Collins, a spokesman. AMR filed for Chapter 11 on Nov. 29.Comcast quashes talk of Netflix partnership
Comcast, the country's largest cable company, says it has no interest in offering Netflix to its Xfinity subscribers in an on-demand service or a billing partnership. "We have no plans to offer access to Netflix to our customers through our Xfinity TV service, no matter what device," the trade publication Fierce Cable quoted a Comcast spokeswoman, Alana Davis, as saying. Reuters reported that Netflix had reached out to cable companies to discuss joining forces. Without Comcast, the reach of those partnerships would be limited.Wireless sales hurt Texas Instruments outlook
Texas Instruments Inc., the world's largest maker of analog semiconductors, reduced its first-quarter sales and profit forecasts, citing lower demand for products that let wireless devices connect and processors that run applications. Revenue will be $2.99 billion to $3.11 billion, the Dallas-based company said. Analysts on average had estimated $3.16 billion, according to Bloomberg. Net income will be 15 cents to 19 cents a share, Texas Instruments said, compared with projections of 21 cents.
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