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Wall Street closes up slightly ahead of jobs report Thursday, March 5, 2015 3:29 pm

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed modestly higher in light trading on Thursday as investors held back on big bets ahead of Friday's jobs report, which is expected to be a big factor in influencing the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

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U.S. factory orders fall again in January Thursday, March 5, 2015 9:12 am

Workers operate the first assembly line started at the new Bicycle Corporation of America plant in Manning,WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New orders for U.S. factory goods unexpectedly fell in January, posting their sixth straight monthly decline.

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Soft U.S. data hints at near-term hiccup in economic growth Thursday, March 5, 2015 11:00 am
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid last week rose to its highest level since May, but economists dismissed the increase as weather-related and said the jobs market remained solid. The reports, however, suggested some near-term weakness in economic growth. "The underlying fundamentals of the economy remain solid and there is no reason we won't continue to see the type of economic growth and job growth that we saw in 2014 continuing this year," said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 for the week ended Feb. 28, the Labor Department said.
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U.S. banks pass Fed capital test, trading books hurt Thursday, March 5, 2015 4:02 pm

The United States Federal Reserve Board building is shown behind security barriers in WashingtonWASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - All 31 U.S. banks passed a test of how they would do in a next economic crisis, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday, but those with large trading books came out weak because of new elements in the check-up. The Fed had assumed a surge in corporate defaults in the toughest hypothetical scenario to test banks' resilience, which it said hit banks with large capital market activities.

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NHTSA could tap unexercised authority to speed Takata recalls Thursday, March 5, 2015 5:19 pm

Visitor walks past displays of Takata Corp at a showroom for vehicles in TokyoBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. auto safety regulators are considering unprecedented steps to speed up the replacement of potentially deadly Takata Corp air bags in millions of cars that remain on American roads despite massive recalls initiated by automakers. In a letter dated March 3, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind told Senator Bill Nelson that regulators had the authority to increase supply of replacement parts by requiring more manufacturers to produce them. If the NHTSA decides to exercise this right under the National Traffic and Motor Safety Act it would mark the first time the agency has done so since it was granted such authority in 2000. Rosekind, a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates major accidents, took the helm of NHTSA in December as the agency weathered criticism for not responding more quickly to the Takata defects and another deadly problem involving faulty General Motors Co ignition switches.

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