Business news briefs
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week by 28,000, to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the third straight increase. That's the highest level since late November. The increases suggest companies may be starting to chop jobs, possibly because of steep government spending cuts that began March 1.
Europe seeks new
tools for growth
With the economy shrinking and unemployment rising, the head of the European Central Bank said more aggressive steps may be on the way to stimulate growth. President Mario Draghi said the bank was considering a range of actions to boost lending to companies and reinvigorate the ailing euro area economy, which has been in recession for a little over a year.
Best Buy to offer
Shares of Best Buy jumped after it announced plans to create store-within-store kiosks for Samsung products a vote of confidence from a consumer electronics retailer that the brick-and-mortar format is still an important way to sell products. Best Buy shares rose 16 percent to close at $25.13, up $3.48 for the day.
Japan to push
Japan is taking aggressive action to lift consumer prices, encourage borrowing and help pull the world's third-largest economy out of a long slump. Like the U.S. Federal Reserve, Japan's central bank plans to flood its financial system with more money its most far-reaching step to date to get consumers and companies to borrow and spend.
Sticky-fingered thieves are stealing the sap right out of Maine's maple trees. With little more than a spout-like tap and a bucket, people are looting the liquid out of trees on private property and hauling it away to turn into sweet maple syrup. At $50 a gallon or more on the retail level, Maine-made sap is pricey, selling for 13 times the price of gasoline.
Outlook sees PC
Research firm Gartner says it expects worldwide PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments to reach 2.4 billion units this year, up 9 percent from 2012. It anticipates desktop and notebook PC shipments to continue to decline as people move toward more portable devices such as tablets and other "ultramobile" electronics.
'Thief' video game
The beloved but long-gone video game franchise "Thief" is making a comeback. A fourth "Thief" game is set to debut next year on the PC, PlayStation 4 and other consoles. For developers at Eidos Montreal, crafting a next-gen game means using souped-up processing power to transport players under the cowl of Garrett, the cynical protagonist who returns for the fourth edition.
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