The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to 260,000, the lowest level in almost 27 years. The more stable four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, also fell last week to 262,750, the lowest level since Dec. 15, 1973. Economists consider claims below 300,000 an indication of a tight labor market, meaning employers are having trouble finding qualified workers.
Business softwaremaker Peregrine Systems Inc. announced it would buy Harbinger Corp. for $2.1 billion in stock, gaining the Atlanta-based company's marketplace Internet portal. The combined firm will have 2,500 employees worldwide and more than 44,000 customers, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500, the companies said. Peregrine is based in San Diego.
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