Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 5 Year Low; Microsoft Offers To Buy Nook Media

UNEMThe Labor Department reported this morning that the number of weekly jobless claims is down 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level since January 2008.

Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablets

TechCrunch reported yesterday that Microsoft is offering to pay $1 billion to buy the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book and college book joint venture with Barnes & Noble and other investors.

According to sources obtained from TechCrunch, Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android based tablet business by the end of its 2014 fiscal year and move to a new model where Nook content is distributed through apps on “third-party partner” devices.

Nook Media split from the retail division of Barnes and Noble last October after receiving a $300 million investment by Microsoft in April 2012 for a 17.6 percent stake in the business.

The Nook business generated $933.7 million in sales last year, up $238.6 million compared to $695.1 million a year earlier.

The Nook directly competes with Amazon’s market-leading Kindle as well as Apple’s iPad.

Shares of Barnes and Noble are up 28 percent in pre-market trading.

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