News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Obama re-election campaign sells birth certificate t-shirt, IMF head resigns

Katharine Crnko May 19, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and from around the web.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund, saying he needed to devote all his energy to fight charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply for the second straight week, dropping 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 409,000.

Sears reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as sales at its namesake stores plunged both in its home turf and Canada.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell in April — a sign that the country’s housing market is struggling to recover from the recent financial crisis. Sales dipped 0.8 in April.

According to Freddie Mac, fixed-rate mortgages are at their lowest point of the year. The survey showed mortgage rates declining for the fifth consecutive week.

McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner is defending the company’s right to advertise to children, claiming it is up to parents to decide what to feed their kids.

LinkedIn shares soared to as much as $92.99 from a initial public offering price of $45 today. The surge is evoking comparisons with hot IPOs from the height of the dot-com boom more a decade ago.

To a major recall going on at the superstore chain Meijer. It is calling back a 12 piece tea light candle set. The candles come in different colors and scents including snappy spice, sunny Tuscany and sweet love. Those names are not the reason for the recall. The reason for the recall is: the candles pose a fire hazard. Imagine that — candles could pose a fire hazard.

Much has been made over the past few years about President Obama’s place of birth. Now the Obama re-election campaign is firing back with a gift for donors of $25 or more. It’s a t-shirt featuring a picture of the president and the words “Made in the U.S.A.” in bold print. On the back — the long form Hawaiian birth certificate the White House released a few weeks ago.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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