- - Sunday, November 6, 2011

ECONOMY

Job market improves slightly as joblessness falls

The American job market improved modestly in October, and economists looking deeper into the numbers found reasons for optimism, or at least what counts for optimism in this agonizingly slow economic recovery.

The nation added 80,000 jobs. That was fewer than the 100,000 that economists expected, but it was the 13th consecutive month of job gains. Fears of a new recession that loomed over the economy this summer have receded.

The unemployment rate nudged down, to 9 percent from 9.1 in September.

No one looking at Friday’s report from the Labor Department saw a quick end to the high unemployment that has plagued the nation for three years. The jobless rate has been 9 percent or higher for all but two months since June 2009.

OIL PIPELINE

Yellowstone spill to cost Exxon $135M

BILLINGS, Mont. — Exxon Mobil said Friday it expects to incur costs of about $135 million from an oil-pipeline break beneath Montana’s Yellowstone River that triggered a massive effort to limit damage to the scenic waterway.

The cost figure was released to the Associated Press. It is more than triple an earlier estimate and includes for the first time the expense of replacing the section of broken pipeline with a new one buried more deeply beneath the river.

The company’s 12-inch Silvertip crude-oil pipeline broke July 1 during severe flooding.

In the 56 minutes it took Exxon Mobil to seal off the line, an estimated 42,000 gallons of oil leaked into the river near Laurel. That fouled dozens of miles of riverbank, numerous islands and swaths of low-lying cropland with crude.

NEW YORK

Deepak Chopra, brother in Amazon book deal

NEW YORK — Amazon.com is adding another high-profile name to its publishing roster.

The literary agent for spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra and his physician brother Sanjiv Chopra says Amazon will be the publisher for their memoir, “Brotherhood: A Tale of Faith, Big Dreams and the Power of Persistence.”

Trident Media Group announced the deal Sunday.

Amazon has been steadily expanding its publishing operations. Last month, filmmaker-actress Penny Marshall signed a deal for her memoir. Amazon also has a deal with best-selling, self-help author Timothy Ferris and has started an imprint for science fiction, fantasy and horror.

BANKRUPTCY

Ice cream maker Dippin’ Dots files Chapter 11

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dippin’ Dots is seeking federal bankruptcy protection, a move the company said is aimed at staving off foreclosure on more than $11 million in loans.

The Paducah, Ky.-based company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, asking a U.S. bankruptcy judge to allow it to use cash collateral to continue operations while the case plays out. The company said in a Thursday night filing that allowing it to use the cash collateral and stay functioning will not harm creditors, including its largest single creditor, Regions Bank, which is owed $11.1 million.

Alabama-based Regions Bank sued Dippin’ Dots in February, alleging the company defaulted on multiple loans. The suit is pending.

Steve Heisner, director of administration for Dippin’ Dots, said Regions gave the company 48 hours’ notice that it intended to foreclose on the loans. That move forced Dippin’ Dots Inc., to file for bankruptcy while looking to refinance the debt, he said.

STOCKS

Groupon shares jump after initial public offering

NEW YORK — Groupon, the company that pioneered online group discounts, saw its stock rise sharply in its public debut Friday, showing strong demand for an Internet company whose business model is considered unsustainable by some analysts.

Groupon’s stock jumped $8.30, or more than 40 percent, to $28.30 Friday afternoon after earlier trading as high as $31.14. Big fluctuations are common for freshly public companies, and Groupon’s first-day rise was largely expected.

Still, analysts said this doesn’t ease worries about the risks concerning the company, especially as the stock price increases.

Groupon has faced scrutiny about its high marketing expenses, enormous employee base and even the way it accounted for revenue until an SEC inquiry prompted a restatement.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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