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U.S. jobless claims hover near pre-recession levels

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New applications for unemployment benefits held near their pre-recession levels last week, offering further evidence of the economy's underlying strength. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits ticked up 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000 for the week ended April 12, the Labor Department said on Thursday. They stayed close to a 6-1/2 year low touched the prior week.

Ex-BP employee charged over BP stock sales after spill

Regulators Thursday charged a former BP employee who worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill with insider trading after he sold $1 million worth of BP stock days after the disaster. Keith Seilhan, who coordinated BP's cleanup of the giant oil spill, sold his family's entire portfolio of BP stock over two days in late April 2010 after he learned the spill was far bigger than BP was saying publicly, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Long-term care: Why your location really matters

By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) - Location, location location: Not only is it key to the value of real estate, it's also a big driver of the cost of long-term care. A study of long-term care costs in the United States released this week shows that the cost of long-term services and support varies dramatically by location. For example, the national median cost of a private nursing home this year is $87,600 - but it's $155,125 in Connecticut, $87,180 in Ohio and $57,487 in Oklahoma.

Morgan Stanley Wealth profit seen as proxy for capital return

By Jed Horowitz NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley's big bet on wealth management is looking strong as fees, commissions and interest collected by its more than 16,000 brokers fueled a 13 percent rise in the business's first-quarter net income from a year earlier to $423 million, the company said Thursday.

Ex-BP employee settles SEC insider-trading oil spill case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former 20-year veteran of BP plc will pay a civil penalty to settle civil charges alleging he used non-public information during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to commit insider-trading, U.S. regulators said on Thursday. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Keith A. Seilhan, who coordinated the company's cleanup efforts, will settle the case without admitting or denying the charges. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Eric Beech)

West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of disease: study

By Saliou Samb CONAKRY (Reuters) - An Ebola outbreak blamed for 135 deaths in West Africa in the past month was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a new strain of the disease, a study in a U.S. medical journal said, raising the specter of further regional epidemics. The spread of Ebola from a remote corner of Guinea to the capital and into neighboring Liberia, the first deadly outbreak reported in West Africa, has caused panic across a region struggling with weak healthcare systems and porous borders.

GE industrial profit boost underscores strategy, shares up

By Lewis Krauskopf and Ernest Scheyder (Reuters) - General Electric Co <GE.N> posted a 12 percent rise in overall industrial profits on Thursday, as strength in its businesses selling gas turbines, jet engines and oil industry equipment offset weakness in healthcare and transportation. GE, which is increasingly focusing on its traditional manufacturing businesses over its finance unit, posted an 8 percent increase in industrial revenue, even as overall company revenue fell slightly short of Wall Street's target.

Direct tobacco marketing linked to teen and adult smoking

By Shereen Jegtvig NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Direct to consumer marketing of tobacco products is reaching significant numbers of teens, as well as young adults, according to a new study. Young people who have seen the promotions are also more likely to take up smoking, the researchers found.

Weibo shares jump in market debut

(Reuters) - Shares of Weibo Corp <WB.O>, the owner of a Chinese Twitter-like messaging service, rose more than 11 percent in their U.S. debut, overcoming worries about the outlook for tech sector and concerns that censorship in China was affecting its user growth. Weibo's shares had been priced at the bottom end of the target range of $17-19, and the size of the offering had been cut to 16.8 million American Depositary Shares from 20 million.

Sina Weibo shares jump more than 25% after IPO

Shares of Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, jumped more than 25 percent in initial trade Thursday, after a disappointing initial public offering on the US Nasdaq exchange. The offering on Wednesday was undersubscribed as Weibo's parent, the Chinese Internet giant Sina Corp, ran into a market jittery over both tech and Chinese company shares.
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