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Morning Market Roundup: Stocks Slump on Unemployment Data, Newsweek Jobs Cuts on the Way, Spint's Major Purchase

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

Stocks: Stocks are opening mostly lower, breaking a four-day winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average, following a leap in claims for unemployment benefits and a mixed batch of corporate earnings reports.

The Dow was down 18 points at 13,539 shortly after the opening bell Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was off four at 1,457 and the Nasdaq composite was down eight at 3,095.

The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in four months. That suggests layoffs are picking up again.

BB&T bank, Philip Morris and Boston Scientific all fell after reporting earnings that came in below analysts' forecasts.

Newsweek: As reported earlier on TheBlaze, Newsweek plans to end its print publication after 80 years and will shift to an all-digital format aimed at online users starting in early 2013. Job cuts are expected.

Newsweek's last U.S. print edition will be its Dec. 31 issue.

"In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format," said Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co., on The Daily Beast website Thursday.

Brown said staff cuts are expected, but didn't give a specific figure. She also said that Newsweek's editorial and print operations would be streamlined in the U.S. and abroad.

Sprint: Flush with the promise of cash from a Japanese investor, Sprint Nextel Corp. on Thursday said that it's buying out the founder of Clearwire Corp. to gain majority control of the wireless network operator.

Sprint said in a regulatory filing that it will pay wireless pioneer Craig McCaw and his holding company $100 million for a 5 percent stake in Clearwire, pushing Sprint's voting stake in the Bellevue, Wash., company to 53 percent.

Clearwire has the right to use a large chunk of the nation's airwaves, but lacks the money to renovate and expand its network. Sprint has been struggling financially too, and hasn't been in a position to invest in Clearwire. That changed with Monday's announcement that Japanese cellphone company Softbank Corp. will buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Clearwire shares fell 16 cents, or 7 percent, to $2.10 in pre-market trading Thursday. They have already nearly doubled in price on speculation that the Softbank deal means Sprint will buy Clearwire outright.

Sprint shares rose 3 cents to $5.76 in premarket dealings.

Morgan Stanleys Earnings: Morgan Stanley reported higher revenue and net income for its third quarter Thursday thanks to gains in its bonds and asset management businesses.

Excluding an accounting charge, the bank earned $535 million for common shareholders in July to September, up from $39 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $7.6 billion after excluding the charge. That beat the $6.4 billion that analysts were expecting, according to FactSet.

In a statement, CEO James Gorman said the results showed the bank's "balanced, strategically focused" game plan. He said he was "confident in our potential to enhance profitability and increase value for our shareholders in the quarters ahead."

If the accounting charge is included, the bank lost $1 billion in the quarter versus income of $2.2 billion in the same period a year ago, and revenue fell 46 percent to $5.3 billion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Front page photo courtesy the AP.

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