In 1901, William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal launched a cartoon featuring two overly polite friends named Alphonse and Gaston. Each insisted with conspicuous courtesy that the other go first. Amid elaborate bowing, scraping, and apres-vous-ing, Alphonse and Gaston never managed to make it through an open doorway.
Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, making it more likely that the surge in April was caused by temporary events rather than a deterioration in the labor market.
Home resales in the U.S. may have tumbled to a record low in July as the expiration of federal tax credits dragged down the housing market, according to Josh Levin , a Citigroup Inc. analyst who follows homebuilders.
Sales of existing U.S. homes unexpectedly declined, manufacturing in the Philadelphia region slowed and consumer confidence dropped, pointing to an economy that is struggling to regain momentum following the surge in energy costs.