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Wholesale Prices Up 0.7 Percent; Jobless Claims Rise

Two fresh economic indicators:

-- The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 27,000 last week, to 412,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. Claims had edged down the previous two weeks.

-- Wholesale prices rose 0.7 percent in March from February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That follows increases of 1.6 percent in February and 0.8 percent in January. A sharp, 2.6 percent, boost in energy costs was largely responsible for last month's rise. One bright spot: According to Bloomberg News, "the increase in the producer-price index was smaller than forecast as food prices unexpectedly dropped for the first time since August."

In the 12 months ended March 31, wholesale prices are up 5.8 percent.

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