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People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren't paid.

The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose to 405,250 last week. That figure has been elevated by the storm.

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Winning tickets sought in $588 million Powerball jackpot

DEARBORN, Mo. (AP) â¿¿ The search is on for the country's newest multimillionaires, the holders of two tickets that matched all six numbers to split a record $588 million Powerball jackpot.

Lottery officials said Thursday that the winning tickets matching all six numbers were sold at a convenience store in suburban Phoenix and a gas station just off an interstate highway in a small northwestern Missouri town. Neither ticket holder had come forward.

The mystery fueled a giddy mood at the Trex Mart just outside Dearborn, Mo., as lottery officials and the media descended on the town of 500 people.

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Twinkies maker Hostess ready for its big bake sale

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The future of Twinkies is virtually assured.

Hostess Brands Inc. got final approval for its wind-down plans in bankruptcy court Thursday, setting the stage for its iconic snack cakes to find a second life with new owners â¿¿ even as 18,000 jobs will be wiped out.

The company said in court that it's in talks with 110 potential buyers for its brands, which include CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The suitors include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a financial adviser for Hostess said. The process has been "so fast and furious" Hostess wasn't able to make its planned calls to potential buyers, said Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners.

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Kroger lifts forecast after stronger third quarter

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Kroger Co. is raising its earnings outlook for the year after the nation's largest traditional supermarket chain reported a third-quarter profit that topped Wall Street expectations.

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