Business News

Business News

There is lots of economic data today and more corporate earnings.  All a run-up to the big government jobs report tomorrow.

Fourth quarter US manufacturing productivity climbed a strong 3.2% and per unit production labor costs fell by 1.6%.  These number as good for consumer costs and product affordability, but is not a positive sign for more robust job growth. (Bloomberg)

Corporate layoffs were up 12% from last year to 45,107 jobs in January. The numbers show a structural shift rather than a weakening economy.  Big box retailers are making adjustments to the new “brick and click” retail environment. (Challenger Report)

Oregon electron microscope maker FEI posted unexpectedly strong profits of $41.2 million up 35% from last year.  The company posted record sales in 2013 and projects 10% growth in 2014.  The stock gained almost 100% last year.  (Seeking Alpha)

Oregon chipmaker TriQuint Semiconductor lost almost $9 million in the fourth quarter, more than twice what they lost last year.  For 2013 sales were up 7.7%.  The company has struggled to breakout from the base product they make for iPhones to other mobile applications and are currently under pressure from activist investors. (Business Wire)

Radio Shack will be closing 500 stores nationwide. The company says they will announce which stores in March.  (Bloomberg)

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