NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets rose Thursday after the Labor Department said first-time unemployment claims dropped modestly in the week ending Saturday.
Initial claims declined by 7,000 to 340,000 in the week, the department said.
In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average, working off a record close, added 48.87 points, or 0.34 percent, to 14,345.11.
The Standard and Poor's 500 index added 2.42 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,543.88. The Nasdaq composite gained 5.45 points, or 0.17 percent, to 3,227.82.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note fell 14/32 to yield 1.99 percent.
Against the dollar the euro rose to $1.3085 from Wednesday's $1.2966. Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 94.71 yen from 93.07 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.3 percent on a gain of 35.81 points, to 11,968.08.
Al Gore sued over Current TV sale
SAN FRANCISCO, March 7 (UPI) -- Television producer John Terenzio is suing former U.S. Vice President Al Gore in San Francisco for cutting him out the sale of Current TV, court papers say.
Gore sold Current TV to al-Jazeera for $500 million in January. But Terenzio claims it was his idea to link the two companies, as he had been seeking ways to create an English-speaking version of al-Jazeera, a news broadcaster with headquarters in Qatar.
Terenzio claims he was responsible for reprogramming China Central Television for U.S. audiences and that he understood how to sway political and public opinion to accept the concept.
In late 2011, court papers say, he created a presentation called "Path to U.S. Distribution," for al-Jazeera to a principal at Colony Capital named Richard Nanula.
Nanula presented the concept to Richard Blum, the husband of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Blum is on the board of directors at Current TV.
Blum showed the concept to Gore, who at first hated the idea, court papers claim.
At some point, however, Gore had a "change of heart," court papers say. But Terenzio wasn't a participant in the deal after that, even though there was a "mutual understanding that Terenzio would be compensated if Current TV utilized his idea to consummate a sale to al-Jazeera," court papers say.
The Hollywood Reported said Thursday that Terenzio is suing Gore for breach of implied agreement, unjust enrichment and "quantum meruit," which means "what one has earned."
Terenzio is seeking $15 million in damages, the Reporter said.
China plans to issue 4G licenses this year
BEIJING, March 7 (UPI) -- China's telecom operators may start receiving licenses this year to offer services on fourth-generation mobile phone network, a minister said.
"China has made breakthroughs in R&D of 4G technologies but is still facing restrictions in commercial use," Information Technology Industry Minister Miao Wei was quotes by China's official news agency Xinhua.
He stressed the need to speed up base station construction and provide more terminal products for the new high-speed mobile service that promises maximum Internet speed several times faster than that of 3G.
"We will promulgate supporting policies at an appropriate time to guide the construction and development of the 4G network," Miao said.
Hangzhou and Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang province last month launched a 4G mobile phone network for commercial use on a trial basis, allowing subscribers there to access the service with an $80 deposit, the report said.
China Mobile, the country's largest mobile operator, uses Time Division Long Term Evolution, one of two international standards, for the 4G network, the report said.
With the advancement in the technology, 4G wireless cards and 4G mobile phones are expected to be ready for commercial use this year, the report said. The minister also said China will further encourage private investment in the telecom industry.
South Korea foreign car sales up
SEOUL, March 7 (UPI) -- Sales of imported cars in South Korea totaled 10,556 vehicles in February, up 14.8 percent year-on-year, a trade group said Thursday.
What was notable in the figures released by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association was that sales of foreign brands rose as sales of local brands declined to 98,226 units in February, down 12.5 percent year-on-year.
Yonhap news agency reported BMW held the top spot for foreign car sales, selling 2,583 vehicles in February, a measure of Germany's dominance of the South Korean market.
In the domestic market, Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. held the top spot.