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BUSINESS TODAY

Published Oct. 8, 1999
Updated Sep. 30, 2005

RETAIL SALES REMAIN STRONG: Retailers reported strong September sales, as Americans maintained their shopping spree at the nation's stores and malls. The winners in September were the discount chains, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Kmart, however, reported disappointing sales due to aggressive price-cutting by competitors on back-to-school merchandise. In another report, the Federal Reserve said that consumer borrowing advanced at a 9.6 percent annual rate in August to a seasonally adjusted $1.367-trillion. That was the biggest monthly increase since January.

JOBLESS CLAIMS RISE: The Labor Department reported new claims for jobless benefits rose by 10,000 to reach 312,000 last week, the highest level since July 17. The increase was bigger than many analysts expected. Also, job cuts for September increased 7 percent from August but decreased 16 percent from September 1998, according to a monthly report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Job cuts for September totaled 61,219 compared with 57,253 in August.

CHECKERS CEO RESIGNS: The chief executive of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc., Jay Gillespie, resigned Thursday after two years in the position. Vice chairman Peter O'Hara will oversee day-to-day operations of the struggling Clearwater fast-food chain until a successor is named. The company, which has about 468 Checkers and 468 Rally's restaurants, last posted a profit in the first quarter of 1998. The company said in September that it plans to sell 43 Midwest restaurants to raise funds to reduce debt. Checkers' stock, which has been trading near a 52-week low, closed at $1.65|, down 3[ cents.