Noon Nuggets: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013

Posted: January 24, 2013

With Wire Reports

Here's what's happening today at noon.

WEATHER:
It's 24 degrees with a wind chill of 15 and scattered clouds in Winchester at noon. A high today of 27 with winds gusting up to 30 mph today. Partly cloudy and a low of 16 tonight. Snow Friday, mainly in the afternoon, with a high of 25. About 1-2 inches of new snow is possible. A low of 19 Friday before warming up near the freezing mark with mostly sunny skies for the weekend.
 
STOCKS:
The Standard & Poor's 500 index traded above 1,500 for the first time since December 2007 following a sudden drop in claims for unemployment benefits, another sign that the labor market is healing.

A plunge in Apple's stock pulled the Nasdaq composite index lower. The electronics giant predicted slower sales.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 84 points at 13,863 shortly before midday Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points to 1,500. The S&P has risen over the previous six days. The Nasdaq fell three points to 3,149.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

 

It Looks Warm, Doesn't It?


This picture of a sunset in Alabama is here only to help those who needed to see something that looks a little warmer than the sub-freezing temperatures we've had in Winchester this week and will continue to feature until at least the weekend. Think warm everyone.  (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
 

HEADLINES:  Shawn M. Bianco was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay more than $119,000  for embezzling from the PTOs at Bass-Hoover Elementary School and Robert  E. Aylor Middle School and the Georgetowne Court Homeowners' Association. BREAKING STORY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level isince January 2008, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring.

The Labor Department said this morning that weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 351,750. That's also the lowest in nearly five years.

The decline may reflect the government's difficulty adjusting its numbers to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. Layoffs spike in the second week of January and then plummet. The department seeks to adjust for those seasonal trends, but the figures can still be volatile.

If the trend holds up, fewer applications would suggest the job market is improving.

ALSO: White House says Obama supports women in combat

Panetta says women in combat is a strength

Los Angeles teacher suspected of molesting 20 kids

Democrats reintroduce assault weapons ban

Obama picks Mary Jo White to lead SEC

Kerry testifies before panel he chairs

Hawaii Coast Guardsman held during investigation

Conn. shooting report may not be ready until June

WTC workers scrawl graffiti of defiance, hope

IN TODAY'S STAR: The mystery of the loud booms in the area has been solved. And, it's a powerful answer. STORY

The physical building for the Laurel Center is rising and the job of raising money for the center continues. STORY

Our Winter Bridal Guide is available online starting today. BRIDAL GUIDE

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"We want to be able to be competitive, and we want to be able to retain our very best and attract the very best." -- Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine proposing Frederick's $168.1 million schools budget. STORY

FRIDAY IN THE STAR:
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum started deconstruction of the interior of its new building on Cork Street as it prepares to eventually move the museum a few blocks from its current location on the Loudoun Street Mall.

IN SPORTS ON FRIDAY:
Former James Wood student and current race car driver Sergio Pena says he has some big news he's announcing today.

Former Millbrook basketball star Erick Green is the nation's leading scorer. He'll be tested today when Green and Virginia Tech host rival Virginia, one of the top defensive teams in college basketball.

LOCAL SPORTS SCHEDULE:
Because of the snow, the Millbrook at Handley basketball doubleheader has been moved back to Friday. The girls will play at 6, the boys at 7:30. The other girls' basketball games,
Flames Home School at SVCA and William Monroe at Clarke County, have also been postponed.