Oil falls below $94; slack demand forecast

Oil fell below $94 a barrel Thursday in New York after the International Energy Agency lowered its forecast for global oil demand.

Meanwhile, U.S. drivers are seeing the cheapest April gas prices since 2010 after the nationwide average fell to $3.56 a gallon. Tucson's average price is $3.38 a gallon, AAA says.

Mortgage rates, jobless claims drop

In reports Thursday:

• The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said, signaling that the job market might be stronger than March's weak month of hiring suggested.

The four-week average, a steadier measure, rose 3,000 to 358,000.

• Average rates on fixed mortgages fell sharply this week and moved closer to historic lows. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan fell to 3.43 percent from 3.54 percent last week.

• As cold weather lingered across most of the country, Americans shopped modestly in March. According to a preliminary tally of 15 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers, revenue in stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent, or 2.5 percent excluding drugstores. That was below expectations, the council said.

Judge won't toss suit vs. Martha Stewart

A New York State Supreme Court judge has rejected a motion by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia lawyers to dismiss Macy's claim that the company violated its pact when it developed certain products for competitor J.C. Penney even though they don't carry the home designer's name. The judge cautioned that his decision doesn't mean Macy's will win the lawsuit against Martha Stewart Living.

Cyprus bailout swells

The cost of bailing out Cyprus has swollen to 23 billion euros ($30 billion).

The country will have to find 13 billion euros ($17 billion) - an increase from the 7 billion euro contribution agreed to last month.

The Associated Press