Thursday, August 23, 2012 – 10:00 a.m.

Here’s some news flowing across the transom this week.

New claims for unemployment benefits rise again

First time claims for unemployment benefits rose to 377,000 last week. The figure was 7,000 more than economists expected.

The previous week’s number was revised upward from 366,000 to 368,000.

Rising claims is a bad sign for any hope that the 8.3% unemployment rate will fall before the upcoming Presidential Election.

Fresno, California bonds downgraded

Credit rating agency Standard & Poors cut Fresno, California’s municipal bonds to BBB- from A- Tuesday.

The rating is at the bottom of the investment grade level.

Expect more of this throughout the state.

Slew of Battleground Polls show Romney gaining

A barrage of battleground state polls, released this week, show Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney making significant inroads into President Barack Obama’s lead in several key areas. The polls show Romney either closing the gap or taking small leads in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Colorado.

Expect the financial advantage of Romney and various GOP super-PAC’s to continue moving this race closer.