Jobless claims down

MarketWatch: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell slightly in the last week of 2013, suggesting that the U.S. labor market remains on a path of gradual improvement. In the seven days ended Dec. 28, initial jobless claims dropped by 2,000 to 339,000, the U.S. Labor Department said today. That's the lowest level in four weeks. One year ago, claims stood at 372,000.

 

Best-selling U.S. truck goes aluminum
CNNMoney: Ford Motor Co. is putting the F-150 pickup's 37-year winning streak on the line in 2014, with an expected radical shift to aluminum. The new F-150 is expected to use 600 pounds of aluminum, replacing about 1,000 pounds of steel, according to industry consultant Ducker Worldwide. The move accounts for a big chunk of the 750 pounds that Ford has vowed to cut to improve fuel economy. Some experts believe the truck will be able to get about 30 miles per gallon, up from the 17 to 19 mpg of current models.

 

U.S. manufacturers productive in December
Reuters: U.S. manufacturing ended the year on a high note, growing in December at its fastest pace in 11 months, while the rate of job growth was the swiftest since March, an industry report showed on Thursday. Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 55 last month, beating November's 54.7 reading and an initial December estimate of 54.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.