WASHINGTON – UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS RISE: The number of people who sought unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the biggest jump in a month and marked the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000.
NEW-HOME SALES FALL: New-home sales fell in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 319,000, the Commerce Department said. That's far below the 700,000 homes per year that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.
LONG-TERM PROBLEMS: The weak data illustrate what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged this week: Many factors weighing on the economy are proving to be more chronic than first imagined.