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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:
NEW YORK (AP) — The company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat is expected to start trading Thursday after a better-than-expected stock offering. Snap Inc. passed its first major test on Wall Street on Wednesday as it priced its initial public offering of 200 million shares at $17 each. That is above the expected range of $14 to $16 and values the Los Angeles company at $24 billion. Snap’s IPO is one of the most anticipated for a technology company since Twitter’s stock market debut in 2013. Co-founders Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy will retain controlling power over all matters at Snap; the Class A stock being sold in the IPO has no voting power. Snap is getting the ticker symbol “SNAP” on the New York Stock Exchange. Read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 223,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, fewest in nearly 44 years. The Labor Department says unemployment claims dropped by 19,000 from 242,000 the previous week to the lowest level since March 1973 when Richard Nixon was president. The four-week average, which is less volatile, fell by 6,250 to 234,250, lowest since April 1973. Read more
LONDON (AP) — The president of one of Britain’s biggest business lobby groups is to warn of the economic damage the country would suffer if it leaves the European Union without securing a wide-ranging trade deal with the bloc. In prepared remarks for a speech due later Thursday, Confederation of British Industry President Paul Drechsler will say that a “‘no deal’ scenario would open a Pandora’s Box of economic consequences.” Read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — If President Donald Trump’s hardline stance on illegal immigration leads to large-scale deportations, among those hurt could be the U.S. economy. That’s the view of many economists, who say the United States can’t afford to suddenly lose vast numbers of the immigrants who work illegally picking fruit and vegetables, building houses, busing tables, staffing meat-packing plants and cleaning hotel rooms. Immigrants living illegally in the United States account for roughly 18 percent of employment in agriculture, 13 percent in construction and 10 percent at restaurants, hotels and casinos, according to a study done last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Read more
The rise of self-employment and soaring office costs are fueling demand for shared office space in metropolitan areas, with a handful of firms renting workspace by the hour, similar to the way Airbnb offers overnight stays. Vrumi, founded in 2015, says it has 5,000 registered users and 120,000 square feet of rentable workspace across the U.K. London-based Spacehop joined the market last year, as did Breather, a four-year-old company that also operates in the U.S. and Canada. It’s the latest development of the so-called sharing economy, where those looking for extra cash are generating income any way they can with the help of the internet and smartphone apps. Space itself has become a commodity, with people renting their driveways to commuters searching for parking, attics to apartment dwellers in need of storage and garden plots to those who want to grow their own tomatoes. Read more
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