Jobless claims fall last week

Reuters: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to steadily improving labor market conditions, despite two straight months of weak hiring. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor Department said. That was mostly in line with economists' expectations.

 

Speculators look to cash in on Bitcoin crisis

CNNMoney: The Bitcoin world has been buzzing over the past few days as Tokyo-based exchange Mt.Gox. has frozen withdrawals. A Bitcoin software glitch could allow thieves to steal its customers' bitcoins, and Mt.Gox has been unable to fix the problem. That means that owners of the digital currency who have accounts with Mt.Gox can't cash out, and many are now worried their deposits could be lost. Some Mt.Gox customers who doubt they'll ever recover their bitcoins have begun selling the rights to them at a steep discount to speculators who believe that Mt.Gox will indeed make good on its obligations.

 

Fed officials see more QE cuts

Reuters: Three Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday said they believe the U.S.economy is gaining traction despite a recent slowdown from severe weather, allowing the central bank to stick to its plan to wind down its massive bond-buying stimulus this year. The comments, from the heads of the Federal Reserve banksof St. Louis, San Francisco and Atlanta, freshen the message in the minutes of the Fed's most recent policymaking meeting, also released Wednesday, which showed many thought only a big change in outlook could disrupt further measured reductions in bond purchases.