The major stock indices ended the trading session mixed today after jobless claims spiked to 379,000 for the week of December 14th, well above estimates of 337,000 that analysts were expecting and up from 368,000 the previous week. The negative news on the job market came just one day after the Federal Reserved cited improvements in employment conditions as it announced an initial cutback in its $85 billion dollar-a-month bond buying program.
Facebook (FB) shares took a hit and bounced back to close down less than 1% after founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg announced he would sell 41.4 million shares as part of a 70 million share offering by the social networking company. Zuckerburg’s shares are worth about $2.3 billion dollars. The sale will reduce Zuckerburg’s voting power to 56.1% from 58.8%.
Target (TGT) shares were also lower today after the company confirmed that some 40 million customers’ credit and debit card accounts were hit by an extensive data breach at the start of the holiday shopping season between November 27 and December 15. The information affected in the breach included customers’ names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes.
And Tesla (TSLA) shares sold off sharply today after the Orange County Fire Authority said a Tesla-supplied charging system for the company’s Model S sedan may have been responsible for a November 15th garage fire in Irvine, California. The report, however, also said the ultimate cause of the fire remains unclear.
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