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Weak start for stocks...Jobless claims drop...GM suspends engineers over recall delay

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are off to a weak start this morning as investors pick over the latest corporate earnings reports. Bed Bath & Beyond has plunged 6 percent after the company reported that weaker sales drove down its quarterly earnings. The Dow has been trading in a narrow range, moving between small gains and losses. The broader indexes are lower.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Applications for unemployment benefits have dropped to their lower level since the Great Recession began in 2007. The Labor Department says the number of people filing claims fell 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 300,000. The four-week average of also fell, dropping to 316,250. The decrease suggests that employers expect stronger economic growth in the coming months and are holding onto their workers.

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Mary Barra calls it a "difficult decision," but the company has suspended two engineers with pay in the first disciplinary action linked to its delayed recall of thousands of small cars for a deadly ignition switch problem. The action comes after allegations during congressional hearings last week that at least one engineer tried to cover up the switch problem. Barra says the suspensions are "an interim step" as the company seeks "the truth about what happened."

MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) — Family Dollar is planning to cut some jobs and close about 370 underperforming stores. The discount chain is trying to reverse sagging earnings and boost sales. Family Dollar also says it will lower prices on about 1,000 basic items. The company is not saying how many jobs it expects to eliminate.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Ebay's stock is down this morning on news that Carl Icahn is backing down from his campaign to shake up the company. Ebay has been fighting a push from the activist investor to spin off PayPal. The mobile payment business' revenue has been growing faster than the rest of the company.

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