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New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 355,000 last week from 363,000 the week prior. Claims were expected to rise to 370,000. A Labor Department analyst says superstorm Sandy depressed claims in at least one state and resulted in an increase in claims in others.
The U.S. September trade deficit narrowed to $41.55 billion -- the narrowest since December 2010 -- from a downwardly revised $43.79 billion in August. Analysts were expecting the deficit to increase to $45 billion from a previously reported $44.22 billion.