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Few new jobs, but unemployment rate declines

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Job creation was the weakest in three years, but the December unemployment rate dropped a few percentage points. 

The unemployment rate declined from 7.0% to 6.7% in December, while total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by just 74,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Economists had expected about 200,000 additional jobs in December. 

Employment in retail trade rose by 55,000 in December. Within the industry, job gains occurred in food and beverage stores (+12,000), clothing and accessories stores (+12,000), general merchandise stores (+8,000), and motor vehicle and parts dealers (+7,000).

Retail trade added an average of 32,000 jobs per month in 2013.

Construction employment edged down in December, with a decline of 16,000 jobs. In 2013, the industry added an average of 10,000 jobs per month. Employment in nonresidential specialty trade contractors declined by 13,000 in December, possibly reflecting unusually cold weather in parts of the country, according to the Bureau’s analysis.

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HCN Stock Watch: Mixed-bag Thursday

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The 30 stocks were mostly mixed at the close of Thursday, with Sears registering the biggest decline at -3.18.

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Fiber Optic Designs wins patent case

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After years in court, Fiber Optic Designs won its legal battle against a Chinese manufacturer of LED lighting products.

"After years of litigation, we feel as though justice is finally being served," said David Allen, president of Fiber Optic Designs. "This should help us free up some of Fiber Optic Designs’ resources that we intend to use to develop the LED lighting technology that literally started an industry more than 10 years ago."

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania decided for FOD in its paten infringement case against Chinese Christmas light manufacturer Bortex. The court struck down Bortex’s claims that the FOD patent was invalid, unenforceable or not infringed. 

The amount Bortex will pay in sanctions is expected to be determined early this year.

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