IN BRIEF

M Resort says it needs to hire 250 workers

The five-day-old M Resort said Thursday it needs to hire 250 more workers because of strong business trends during its first week of operation.

The $1 billion hotel-casino, which has 390 rooms and nine restaurants, opened Sunday night at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway with 1,800 workers.

Casino officials say the resort was projected to sell 5,000 meals a day in its food and beverage outlets and has done nearly double that in the first three days.

Jobless benefit claims top 600,000 for week

More than 600,000 Americans filed initial claims for jobless benefits last week as companies strived to cut the costs of work forces that are producing less as the recession deepens.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported 639,000 first-time unemployment applications, the fifth straight week above 600,000. The agency also said worker productivity, a measure of employee output per hour, fell at a 0.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2008, with labor costs climbing 5.7 percent.

NEW YORK

Retail sales dip again, but pace seems to slow

Retailers released figures Thursday showing that sales kept falling in February, but not nearly as much as in January.

A tally by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs showed that sales at stores open at least a year, known as same-store sales, slipped 0.1 percent in February, less than the 1 to 2 percent drop that was forecast. That marked the fifth monthly drop in a row. But it was an improvement from January’s 1.6 percent drop.

DETROIT

Annual report suggests GM’s future in doubt

Of all the words in General Motors Corp.’s 402-page annual report, none is more jarring than two written by the company’s auditors: “Substantial doubt.”

The doubt, according to Deloitte & Touche LLC, is about whether GM can overcome its losses and generate enough cash to stay in business.

GM concedes in the report filed Thursday that it’s on the edge of bankruptcy and won’t be able to avoid it unless it gets more government money and executes a huge restructuring plan.

Bankruptcy court OKs Tropicana parent’s plan

A U.S. bankruptcy court approved reorganization plans for Tropicana Entertainment LLC, which owns the Tropicana in Las Vegas. The company said the approval made it possible to exit bankruptcy as early as May.

In a statement, the company said it will convert its senior secured debt to common stock and its unsecured debt to receive warrants.

Tropicana Entertainment also said former owner William Yung, who resigned as CEO last year, will have neither equity interests nor positions in the newly constituted companies.

NEW YORK

Treasury prices rebound as traders seek safety

Treasury prices bounced back Thursday as investors fled stocks for safer assets.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 1.38 points to 99.47. Its yield fell to 2.82 percent from 3.01 percent late Wednesday. Prices move inversely to yields.

The 30-year bond rose 3.03 to 99.94, and its yield fell to 3.50 percent from 3.69 percent.

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