The Associated Press
THE JOBS REPORT: The Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since February 2008. But the unemployment rate is still much higher than it was then â¿¿ 7.8 percent at the latest read, compared to 4.9 percent in February 2008.
EUROPE SIMMERS: Greece reported a record-high unemployment rate. The Standard & Poor's ratings agency late Wednesday cut its rating on Spain's debt. And in Germany, economic researchers predicted the country's growth would slow.
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP?: At least two companies jumped after reports that they could get new owners. Sprint Nextel said that a Japanese cell phone company, Softbank Corp., is in talks to invest in the company. Truck company Oshkosh Corp. rose after activist investor Carl Icahn offered to buy the company.