In today's news: Playboy goes high-tech, jobless claims go down, hurricane predictions go up, bread and cereal prices may go up, and home sales are going nowhere.
OK, we admit it’s not the most important story of the day. But it’s one of the most interesting. Reports USA Today: “Playboy launched a web-based subscription service Thursday called i.Playboy.com that allows viewers to see every page of every magazine – from the first issue nearly 60 years ago that featured Marilyn Monroe to those hitting newsstands today.”
For the second week in a row, fewer Americans applied for unemployment. But that might not last, thanks to the weather. “The tornadoes that devastated much of Alabama and parts of other states late last month, as well as recent flooding on the Mississippi, could cause applications to rise,” MSNBC reports.
The recent spate of tornadoes that broke insurance claim records may be followed up by equally nasty hurricanes. Experts are predicting “anywhere from 12-18 named storms to form in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico,” USA Today reports, “including three to six ‘major’ hurricanes, with wind speeds above 111 mph.”
More weather-related news: Flooding in some part of the country and drought in others is raising crop prices. “Surging wheat and corn prices could hit the items in your grocery basket by mid-summer if planting conditions across the country don’t improve,” CNN reports.
Home buyers apparently don’t know the recession is over: Sales of existing U.S. homes defied expert predictions and dropped. “Purchases of existing homes decreased 0.8 percent to a 5.05 million annual pace in April,” Bloomberg reports.