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Morning Market Roundup: Unemployment Apps Up, Slow Sales For Retailers, Google Plans Job Cuts

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Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

Unemployment: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 367,000, according to a new report from the Labor Department.

The report said Thursday that applications increased last week by 4,000 from the previous week's level of 363,000. The previous week was revised higher from an initial reading of 359,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was unchanged last week at 375,000. Also, the feds will report Friday on September hiring and unemployment.

There are only two jobs reports left before Election Day, so the September figures could have a major impact on the presidential campaign.

Retail: Monthly sales reports from major retailers are showing that Americans slowed down their spending in September.

As retailers announced their monthly results Thursday, Limited Brands Inc. and Costco Corp. reported sales gains that beat analysts' expectations. Target Corp. and Macy's Inc. posted sales increases that were below what analysts had projected.

The figures are based on revenue at stores opened at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Google: Google is expanding its plan to cut jobs from its Motorola Mobility unit outside the U.S. and will take $390 million for severance costs and other charges related to the layoffs.

The online search leader said in August that it would cut about 4,000 jobs at Motorola, planning to close or consolidate about one-third of Motorola's 90 locations. It said then that two-thirds of the job cuts, about 7 percent of Google's overall work force, would take place outside the U.S.

Google Inc. bought Motorola Mobility, which makes cellphones and cable set-top boxes, in late May for $12.4 billion. It was its largest acquisition ever, broadening the company's business from its roots in Internet search and other online services to manufacturing equipment.

About $300 million of the charges announced Thursday are related to severance payments and will be taken in the third quarter, according to a filing by Google with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Mountain View, Calif., company also expects to pay about $90 million in charges for the cost of closing facilities through 2013. About $40 million of those charges are expected to be taken in the third quarter.

Motorola may make even more cuts as it evaluates its plans, which could result in more charges, Google said.

U.S. Futures: Stock futures are rising despite the weekly report on jobless claims and reports on retail sales from major U.S. store chains.

Dow futures are up 46 points to 13,472. The broader S&P 500 futures are up 6 points to 1,451. Nasdaq futures are up 13 points to 2,821.

Stocks across Europe were marginally higher ahead of ECB head Mario Draghi's news conference, which is being held in Slovenia, one of the euro's 17 countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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