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Initial claims for unemployment insurance were little changed over the past week, hovering around pandemic-era lows as the jobs market shows further signs of healing.  First-time filings totaled 353,000 for the week ended Aug. 14, a slight increase from the previous week’s 349,000, the Labor Department reported this morning.  A separate economic reading showed that gross domestic product increased at a 6.6% annualized pace in the second quarter, according to the second estimate Thursday from the Commerce Department. That was ahead of the 6.5% initial estimate.


Shares of Western Digital are surging following a report that the data-storage technology leader is close to merging with Japan's Kioxia Holdings in a deal that could be worth more than $20B.  Kioxia is owned by private-equity firm Bain Capital. While the company's name might not be as well-known outside of Japan, it was once called Toshiba Memory and has a long track record in the semiconductor industry.


The highly anticipated Jackson Hole symposium from the Federal Reserve will be held virtually this year tomorrow, with many central bank speakers making remarks to the media beginning Thursday. At the event, central bankers could provide updates on their plan around tapering monetary stimulus.

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