US loses 140,000 jobs, first monthly drop since spring

WASHINGTON — US employers shed jobs last month for the first time since April, cutting 140,000 positions, clear evidence that the economy is faltering as the viral pandemic tightens its grip on consumers and businesses. The unemployment rate stayed at 6.7%, the first time it hasn’t fallen since April. Friday’s figures from the Labor Department suggest that employers have rehired roughly all the workers they can afford to after having laid off more than 22 million in the spring — the worst such loss on record. The economy still has 9.9 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic sent it sinking into a deep recession nearly a year ago.

Roku buys library of the short-lived service Quibi

NEW YORK — Roku is buying short-lived streaming service Quibi’s content library to bolster content for its free Roku Channel. Financial terms were undisclosed. Roku built its business as a hub for other streaming services, but recently has been building up the content library for its own channel. Quibi, short for “quick bites,” raised $1.75 billion from investors including major Hollywood players Disney, NBCUniversal and Viacom. But the service struggled to reach viewers, as short videos abound on the Internet and the Coronavirus pandemic kept many people at home. It announced it was shutting down in October, just months after its April launch.

Stock market shakes off a slump

NEW YORK — Stocks shook off a midday slump and powered higher in the afternoon, bringing major indexes to record highs and leaving the market with solid gains for the first week of the year. The S&P 500 added 0.5%. It rose 1.8% for the week. The Dow and Nasdaq also closed at record highs. Investors are hopeful that the Biden administration will move quickly to push through more badly needed support for American workers and businesses following his inauguration later this month. Treasury yields continued to rise as investors expect increased federal borrowing, more stimulus for the economy and the possibility of higher inflation.

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