The tally of newly laid-off people requesting jobless benefits fell last week, the government said Thursday, a sign that companies are cutting fewer workers.
Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods soared by the largest amount in 16 months in April, the second increase in the past three months.
A General Motors Corp. bankruptcy filing seemed inevitable after a rebellion by its bondholders forced it to withdraw on Wednesday a plan to swap bond debt for company stock.
More than 90 percent of economists predict the recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be bumpy.
The future of Chrysler hangs in the balance as it heads to court Wednesday to ask a bankruptcy judge for permission to sell the bulk of its assets to a group headed by Italy's Fiat in hopes of saving itself from liquidation.
Bank of America Corp. said Wednesday it raised $5.9 billion through the conversion of preferred shares for common stock as part its plan to bolster its capital base.
The nation's banks turned a profit in the first quarter, but the number of problem banks jumped to more than 300, the government said Wednesday.