Lowest Initial Claims Report in Seven Years

This morning, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to 300,000 last week. That’s the lowest number since May 12, 2007. Last week was revised up from 320,000 to 326,000. This tends to be a noisy number that bounces around a lot so economists focus on the four-week moving average. The trend is clearly moving in the right direction.

The stock market is mostly flat this morning. As expected, Bed Bath & Beyond ($BBBY) isn’t doing well. The stock is currently down 5.5%.

Shares of eBay ($EBAY) are down about 2% on the news that the company and Carl Icahn have settled their proxy fight.

Under a deal announced Thursday, Icahn — whose has a minority stake in eBay — is dropping the PayPal strategy and withdrawing his proposal to put two nominees on the board.

In turn, eBay will make David Dorman an independent director, the 10th of the 12-member board. The 60-year-old Dorman is chairman of CVS Caremark Corp. and founding partner of Centerview Capital Technology.

Icahn still believes eBay should be spun off and said in a statement that he’ll seek confidential talks with the company, whose leadership Icahn has labeled as “either incompetent or negligent.”

Icahn said he and eBay President and CEO John Donahoe have agreed to meet regularly when Donahoe is in New York to talk about eBay’s strategic options.

I’m a big fan of Carl’s, but this fight was going nowhere.

Posted by on April 10th, 2014 at 9:50 am

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