6at4 Business Report: Unemployment, student loans, Neiman Marcus

May 31, 2012 2:19:17 PM PDT
The job market appears to be cooling; student loan debt is heating up; Neiman Marcus caught in a divorce lawsuit.

Jobs Market Cooling
Stocks were little changed with concerns about the economy, particularly jobs, creeping back into the market. The jobs market seems to be cooling off. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose to a one-month high. ADP Employer Services says companies hired fewer workers than forecast last month. All that news comes ahead of tomorrow's monthly jobs report but economists tell us all the signs point to slowing job growth.

Increasing Student Loan Debt
Student loan debt rose 3.4% in the first quarter to $904 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A senior economist there says that student loan debt continues to grow even as consumers reduce mortgage debt and credit card balances. It's the only form of consumer debt to substantially increase since the peak of household debt in late 2008.

Prepaid iPhone from Cricket
Leap Wireless, that's the parent company of Cricket Cellphone Service will be the first U.S. phone company to sell the iPhone on a prepaid, no-contract basis. Starting June 22, Cricket will start selling the iPhone with a $55 a month unlimited talk, text and data plan. The challenge will be getting consumers to pay a higher upfront price for the iPhone unlike AT&T and Verizon who subsidize the cost of the iPhone in return for customers agreeing to those two year contracts.

Nieman Marcus Lawsuit
Now, a twisted case that has one woman fighting for her money back after receiving millions of dollars worth of gifts from her husband. Patricia Walker says her husband bought her all kinds of extravagant items from Neiman Marcus using her store expense account. The twist, she claims, is the purchases were made to help her personal shopper, who happened to be his girlfriend. When Walker tried to return the items, Neiman Marcus said "No!" and now her attorney is hoping she'll get justice in the courtroom. Walker's now ex-husband claims complete innocence and says plenty of other people helped him pick out the gifts.