NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks have taken a big leap higher on Wall Street this morning. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq each jumped more than 1 percent in the opening minutes and remain well above that threshold. Investors seem to be cheered by some signs of movement in Washington's budget impasse.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Aides say House Speaker John Boehner will ask House Republicans to approve a short-term extension of the government's borrowing limit. GOP lawmakers have insisted that budget cuts be added to any debt ceiling legislation, but the aides wouldn't say whether Boehner plans to do that. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is warning that a Republican idea to prioritize payments with cash on hand would present "perilous choices" and could cause "irrevocable damage" to the U.S. economy and financial markets.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Weekly jobless claims jumped by 66,000 last week. The Labor Department says the number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 374,000, while the less volatile four-week average rose to 325,000. Applications were near a six-year low last week. The spike was largely the result of California processing a huge backlog of claims and the partial government shutdown prompting some contractors to cut jobs.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Retailers are reporting modest sales gains for September. The International Council of Shopping Centers says a preliminary tally of 9 retailers shows revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 2.7 percent. That was a slower pace than the 3.5 percent increase posted in August. The list of retailers reporting does not include many of the larger chains, such as Wal-Mart and Macy's.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Hershey Co. is launching its first new candy brand in 30 years. It's a line of soft caramel cremes called Lancaster. The name comes from founder Milton Hershey's first candy company founded in 1886, The Lancaster Caramel Co. Two-and-a-half years of research into consumer tastes and the global market for sweets went into the candy. A version tailored to Chinese tastes is already on sale in three cities in China, while the U.S. assortment will show up in U.S. stores in January.
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