Samsung Electronics is giving Apple some of its own medicine. The company will set up mini-stores this summer inside Best Buys across the United States. Samsung on Thursday said it would open 1,400 of the stores by the end of June. Called a Samsung Experience Shop, each store will be an entire section at Best Buy devoted to showcasing Samsung smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, televisions and accessories. It will also include customer support for Samsung products, similar to the Genius Bar at Apple stores.
Jobless claims at highest in four months
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose to a four-month high last week, although the increase partly reflects seasonal distortions around the spring holidays. Weekly applications increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the third straight weekly increase and the highest level since late November. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose to 354,250. A Labor Department spokesman said it can be difficult to seasonally adjust the figures during the Easter holiday because the timing of the holiday varies from year to year.
Apartment-rent increases slow
U.S. apartment rents increased in the first quarter at their slowest pace since late 2011 amid a wave of construction that will further test landlords' ability to raise rates, Reis Inc. said. Effective rents, or what tenants pay after any price breaks from owners, averaged $1,054 a month, up 0.5 percent from the fourth quarter, according to the property-research firm. Sluggish job and wage growth have raised questions about how much more landlords can increase rents.
Mortgage rates inch lower
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage edged down to 3.54 percent from 3.57 percent last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage declined to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent last week.