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Stocks rising...Jobless claims down...Delivery delays push UPS shares lower

Thursday - 12/26/2013, 11:41am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Traders are back at work on the New York Stock Exchange, and they are buying. The Dow was up 65 points after the first hour of trading, the S&P was up more than five points and the Nasdaq had gained about 13 points.

WASHINGTON (AP) --The holiday season continues to produce larger than normal swings in unemployment claims. The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits dropped by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000. Claims had jumped 75,000 over the previous two weeks. The Labor Department reports that the less-volatile four-week average rose 4,250 to 348,000.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of UPS are down today after its distribution network became overwhelmed in the days leading up to Christmas and thousands of packages were delayed. Amazon.com says it's refunding shipping charges and giving customers a $20 credit toward future purchases to compensate those whose packages did not arrive in time for Christmas.

PARIS (AP) -- The Paris airport authority says all Lufthansa airport staff in Paris have called in sick today. A statement by Lufthansa unions in France says they are protesting tight staffing and a shortage of managers during the holiday season. The surprise strike has prompted flight cancellations, though Lufthansa says only two flights have been officially scrapped. The airline is advising passengers to check the status of their flights online.

MADRID (AP) -- Spain's finance minister says the government plans to cut income taxes for low-income Spanish families next year, but citizens in higher income brackets won't get a break until the country's economy emerges from a prolonged crisis. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') has pushed through waves of austerity-driven, unpopular tax hikes and government program cutbacks since taking office in 2011, to reduce Spain's budget deficit.


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