NEW YORK -- A spike in borrowing costs for the Spanish government renewed worries Thursday about Europe's debt crisis and pushed stocks lower for the second day in a row.
A stalemate in Congress over cutting the budget deficit also pulled the market down. Technology stocks sank after NetApp and Applied Materials predicted weaker earnings.
In Spain, an auction bonds left the country paying interest rates of nearly 7 percent, the highest since 1997. Economists see that as unsustainable because it would make payments so high Spain would barely be able to afford them.
Angie's List rises 25% on 1st day of stock trading
NEW YORK -- Consumer-reviews site Angie's List Inc. saw its stock grow by 25 percent on its first day of trading Thursday, showing ongoing investor appetite for Internet companies.
The company's public debut came the same day that another reviews site, Yelp Inc., filed for an initial public offering.
Founded by Angie Hicks in 1995, Angie's List runs reviews of doctors, gardeners, plumbers and other local service businesses. On Wednesday, it priced its IPO of 8.8 million shares at $13 each. The stock closed at $16.26, valuing the business at $904 million.
Weaker sales at owner of Sears widens 3Q loss
NEW YORK -- Sears Holdings Corp. turned in a wider-than-expected loss in its third-quarter, dragged down by weakness in Canada, declining consumer electronics sales and softer clothing sales at its Kmart stores.
The downbeat report, announced Thursday, underscored the big challenges the ailing chain faces as it heads into the critical weeks of the holiday shopping season.
The company, which operates Kmart and Sears locations, has seen rival department stores like Macy and discounters like Target continue to steal customers away. It's also contending with a tough economic environment that has put more pressure on its middle-income shoppers.
Indicator suggests jobs crisis slowly improving
WASHINGTON -- Little by very little, the job market is getting better.
A closely watched measure of the jobs crisis, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time each week, fell to 388,000 in a report released Thursday, its lowest point since April.
The four-week average, which economists check because it smooths out the week-to-week fluctuations in the job market, dropped below 400,000 for the first time in seven months.
Home loan rates remain near their all-time lows
WASHINGTON -- The rate on the 30-year mortgage hovered above the record low for a third straight week. But cheap rates have done little to boost home sales or refinancing deals.
Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 4 percent from 3.99 percent. Six weeks ago, it dropped to a record low of 3.94 percent. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.31 percent from 3.30 percent. Six weeks ago, it hit a record low of 3.26 percent.
Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks this year. Yet this year could be the worst for home sales in 14 years. Mortgage applications fell 10 percent this week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.