Gifts sent by UPS miss a big deadline

The New York Times: Santa delivered sacks stuffed with IOUs this Christmas. Across the country, carriers failed to meet delivery deadlines in the face of bad weather and an unexpectedly large surge in demand. United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package delivery company, attributed the late arrivals to a short holiday shopping season, a rise in online shopping and bad weather, including ice storms last weekend that caused power failures from Michigan to Maine. Together, they overwhelmed UPS' air network. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Inc. were among retailers that said they would give gift cards to customers who did not receive items in time.


Jobless claims fall in positive sign for labor market

Reuters: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in nearly a month, a hopeful sign for the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 345,000 last week.


Price of stamps to go up 3 cents

CNNMoney: The price of a stamp is about to go up -- and by more than expected. A panel overseeing the U.S. Postal Service approved a 3-cent hike from the current price of 46 cents. It will take effect on Jan. 26. That includes a 1-cent increase -- to keep pace with inflation -- approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission last month. The additional 2 cents are intended to be temporary and to recoup losses the Postal Service suffered during the recession, the commission said.