MID-DAY UPDATE: Mixed jobs news, Hulu to offer Miramax films
Here are today's top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.
A leading job placement firm is reporting this morning that employers eliminated almost 2 percent more jobs in May than they did the previous month. That from Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Meantime, the payroll firm ADP found private employers added a scant 38,000 jobs last month. Glass half full, or half empty?
The Mortgage Bankers Association said this morning mortgage applications fell last week even as the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed dropped to 4.58 percent.
More than 150 economists back U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's call to match any increase in the debt limit with spending cuts of equal size, according to a letter released by the Republican leader's office Wednesday. Well, Congressional Republicans are sitting down with the president this morning for a meeting on the nation's debt ceiling. Yesterday -- the House of Representatives overwhelmingly defeated a bill that would have raised the ceiling with no spending cuts attached.
Hulu says it will offer hundreds of Miramax films to some of its subscribers and select films through its ad-supported service as part of a multi-year deal between the two companies.
Japanese auto sales fell by a third in May, the lowest total for the month since 1968, as carmakers struggled to restart production after the earthquake and tsunami that roiled the country in March. Car sales tumbled in Spain and France as the end of government incentives to replace old models sent markets reeling. French car sales fell 8.3 percent in May on an adjusted basis, industry association CCFA said.
To New York City where a woman is suing Chanel. She went into the company's 57th street store and tried on a $10,000 diamond ring. But couldn't get it off her finger. She ended up spending several hours in the emergency room where doctors were finally able to remove the ring without cutting it. Something tells me there was a team of Chanel security guards at the woman's side to make sure operation "get the ring back" went smoothly.
You can call this "Extreme Makeover: Japan Edition." With many of its power sources shut down, that country is bracing for a long, hot summer. The government is telling businesses to cut their electricity use by 15 percent. And some firms are pledging to keep thermostats at 82 Fahrenheit. So what's the plan to stay cool? Aloha shirts, jeans and sneakers, under a new dress code being promoted by Japan's Ministry of the Environment. But the mere idea is giving the traditional dark-suit-and-tie crowd, well, the sweats. One trade ministry worker tells the Wall Street Journal he's got a fallback plan for when he has to greet guests: He'll keep a suit at his desk to change into.
You can read the rest of today's stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.