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Stocks edge higher...Jobless claims up...Mortgage rates rise

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 9, 2017 at 8:36 a.m.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock are slightly higher in early trading on Wall Street as interest rates continue to move higher and banks climb with them. Energy companies are falling with the price of oil. Retailers Tailored Brands and Staples are falling after weak quarterly reports, but Sears is climbing as investors are pleased it cut its losses. Today marks the eighth anniversary of the current bull market.

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but claims remain low enough to suggest that most workers enjoy job security. The Labor Department says applications for jobless aid rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000. That's up from a 44-year-low 223,000 the week before. The less volatile four-week average rose by 2,250 to 236,500. Overall, 2.06 million Americans are collecting unemployment checks, down more than 6 percent from a year ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates have hit a new high for the year, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise a key interest rate next week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate loans climbed to 4.21 percent this week from 4.10 percent last week. The benchmark rate stood at 3.68 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent through 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971. The rate on 15-year mortgages increased to 3.42 percent from 3.32 percent last week.

PARIS (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says his group will work with technology companies to help defend them against the Central Intelligence Agency's hacking tools. In an online press conference, Assange says companies asked for more details about the CIA cyberespionage toolkit he revealed in a massive leak published Tuesday. The CIA has so far declined to comment on the authenticity of the leak.

WASHINGTON (AP) — How do you compete with a restaurant at President Donald Trump's hotel down the road from the White House? Two Washington restaurateurs argue you can't — and are suing him over it. The owners of the Cork Wine Bar have filed a lawsuit against Trump personally and the Trump Old Post Office LLC, which operates the hotel, alleging unfair competition under local law. Under constitutional immunity protections, Trump can't be sued over official acts in the White House, but he can be named in lawsuits for personal actions or those involving his businesses.

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The Associated Press


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