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Slightly more apply for jobless benefits

WASHINGTON — Slightly more people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. But the overall level stayed low enough to suggest the job market is strengthening.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000.

The four-week average, which smooths week-to-week fluctuations, remained at roughly 355,000. That’s essentially unchanged from last week’s level, which was the lowest in four years.

Wells Fargo adds $7 fee to six states

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo customers in six states who had free checking accounts will pay $7 a month starting in May.

The bank said Thursday that it started moving customers in 23 states to the $7 fee last year and is expanding to six more: Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Customers can avoid the fee by keeping a minimum balance of $1,500 or making direct deposits of at least $500 a month. They also can get a $2 break on the fee by opting for online statements.

In other news

ALLEN STANFORD, who was convicted of running a $7 billion investment fraud, must forfeit all funds seized by the U.S. government, a federal jury in Houston said Thursday. The jury granted total forfeiture on 29 accounts prosecutors said are worth $330 million.

STARBUCKS CORP. said Thursday that it soon will sell a single-cup coffee machine that lets people brew lattes and other coffee drinks at home. The coffee chain says the Verismo will go on sale online, at high-end specialty stores and at some Starbucks cafes this fall. It is keeping the price of the machine a mystery for now.

– From wire reports


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