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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks closed mixed as jobless claims climbed higher last week, increasing by 14,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

The Dow closed down 15.82 (-0.09 percent) to finish at 18,456.35.

The Nasdaq added 15.17 (+0.30 percent) to close at 5,154.0598, while the S&P 500 gained 3.48 to end the day at 2,170.06 (+0.16 percent).

Crude oil lost about 1 percent with prices hitting just over $41 a barrel.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A man who spent $49 on a raffle ticket has won an entire island resort in the Pacific.

The story begins with Doug and Sally Beitz who 24 years ago opened the luxury Kosrae Nautilus Resort in Micronesia. They raised four sons in paradise. When the Beitzes decided it was time to head home to their native Australia to be with their grandchildren full-time, they came up with the idea to raffle it off. To one lucky person.

That lucky person is reportedly from South Wales. He, like all the other contestants, spent just $49 to enter the raffle.

The Beitzes said their decision to hold a raffle instead of a traditional property sale stemmed from their desire to hand over their lives’ work to someone who had dreamed of island life just as they once did. They wanted their resort to go to a person who would respect the island’s precious ecosystem — not just someone with the deepest pockets.

“We wanted to make our resort affordable for everyone,” Doug Beitz explained. “While we are sad to part with it, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to make someone’s dreams come true.”

Anyone anywhere in the world over the age of 21 was eligible to win. Under the contest’s rules, if fewer than 50,000 tickets were sold, the raffle winner would have won a cash prize equal to 50 percent of the total ticket sales instead of the resort.

Adam Beitz, one of the couple’s sons, told ABC News that the majority of tickets were sold in the U.S., with Australia as a close second.

The owners say the resort is debt-free and profitable. It has 16 long-term employees, and has a minimum occupancy of 55 percent guaranteed through August 2017.

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iStock/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said five American special operators were wounded in just the last few days in counter-terrorism operations against ISIS.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of Resolute Support and United States Forces in Afghanistan, said the Americans were helping Afghan special operators “regain control” of areas recently held by ISIS in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan. During the clearing operation, the Americans suffered small arms fire and shrapnel injuries.

Nicholson told reporters during a press briefing, “None of these are life-threatening injuries. Two of the service members have already been returned to duty with their units. The other three were evacuated out of theater. They’re in good spirits. They’ve talked to their families. We expect a full recovery.”

Earlier this year, President Obama gave U.S. commanders more leeway to strike terrorist targets in support of Afghan troops.

Nicholson noted the Afghan partnered operations against ISIS are on a “positive trajectory” despite high profile attacks like the suicide bombing in Kabul on Saturday, which killed more than 80 people. The commander said those types of attacks don’t necessarily show a sign of ISIS gaining strength.

He noted the terror group only controls areas in three or four districts, down from 10 across Afghanistan, and their number of fighters have been cut in half since the beginning of the year.

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Bettmann/Getty Images(LONDON) — U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Reckless received a posthumous award this week in London. But Sgt. Reckless was not a person; she was a horse.

Reckless was awarded the British animal charity, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), Dickin Medal — the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, the highest British military decoration awarded for valor — for her service between 1952 and 1953 during the Korean War.

U.S. Embassy attaché Lt. Col. Michael Skaggs accepted the award on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps, since Reckless passed away in 1968 in Camp Pendleton, California.

“The conditions that Reckless found herself in were truly perilous and her bravery and tenacity to push forward was remarkable,” Lt. Cl. Skaggs said in a statement.

American author Robin Hutton spent six years researching the Mongolian chestnut mare’s career with the U.S. Marines, wrote a book about her life and nominated her for this British award.

“Her story was erased from the pages of history,” Hutton told ABC News, “and when I heard about the medal, I just knew she had to get it.”

Reckless was purchased from a young Korean man in October of 1952 to be trained as an ammunitions carrier for the Anti-Tank Division of the 5th Marines. They taught her battlefield survival skills such as how not to become entangled in barbed wire and to lie down when under fire, according to the PDSA.

During a five-day battle in 1953, Reckless made 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites: “She carried 386 rounds of ammunition, weighing over 9,000 pounds…up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at a rate of 500 rounds per minute,” the PDSA’s statement said.

“She would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety, unload them, and get reloaded with ammunition to go back up to the guns. Although wounded twice she didn’t let it stop her or slow her down,” the PDSA added. “There’s no way to account for the number of lives she saved.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Fewer millennials are buying homes than in the past six years, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.

Just 34.1 percent of Americans under the age of 35 owned their home, a decline of 0.7 percent from the second quarter of 2015. Millennial home ownership has fallen 4.9 percent since the same period in 2010.

The fall underscores a trend affecting all age groups. The data released Thursday showed that home ownership has touched a 51-year low.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While polls seem to always be shifting as to who’s on top in this political season, one market analyst has identified an election winner that may offer comfort of a different kind: pizza.

In a research note to investors, Chris O’Cull, a restaurant industry analyst at KeyBank, said he believes interest in the election has motivated many people to stay home and order in, rather than eat out.

Foot traffic to casual dining restaurants was down 5 percent in June, he wrote.

“We believe the civil and political disruptions that have negatively impacted restaurant dining may be helping pizza operators that deliver to consumers,” he wrote in the note.

Notes like this are short messages sent by analysts and others to advise clients of expert opinion on investments, and are usually not based on any in-depth study. Rather, they are based on the analyst’s experience and observations, so they should be taken with a grain of salt, so to speak.

O’Cull told ABC News that his analysis was based on conversations with businessmen and women in the sector.

“We talked to a private restaurant company and they said that their sales had been very weak during the DNC convention,” he said, pointing to anecdotal evidence.

At DeMo’s Pizzeria and Deli in Raleigh, North Carolina, co-owner Anthony DeMarco said he’s certainly noticed an uptick in delivery sales as of late.

“We’ve definitely seen a spike for sure,” he told ABC News.

“Throughout this whole summer we were expecting it to be pretty slow,” he said. “We have done a good bit of delivery, a lot of delivery actually.”

O’Cull said that he doesn’t necessarily think people are afraid to dine out or feel uncomfortable interacting with others that share differing political views. Instead, he said he thinks it’s simply interest in televised political events.

“More folks are engaged in the political environment right now,” he said. “We’re just seeing more engagement around watching the debates watching the conventions, and so it’s more convenient to watch those events and have food delivered to your home than to go out to a restaurant.”

But it’s not just pizza, he said.

“Any kind of delivery food is going to be popular in this kind of environment,” O’Cull concluded.

It’s hard however to directly connect the election to an uptick in delivery.

According to Bruce Grindy, vice president and chief economist at the National Restaurant Foundation, fluctuations between the order-in and delivery industries are normal.

“The back and forth between casual dining and quick-service segments happens both in election and non-election years,” he told ABC News.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims climbed higher last week, increasing by 14,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending July 23, the number of people filing for benefits jumped from an revised level of 252,000 the previous week to 266,000, marking the 73rd consecutive week initial jobless claims came in below 300,000. It’s the longest streak since 1973, the Labor Department says.

The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting that week’s figures.

The four-week moving average, however, decreased by 1,000 to 256,500.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — As a dancer as well as a singer and actress, Jennifer Lopez is focused on her feet — and what she’s wearing on them. That’s why she’s teamed with designer Guiseppe Zanotti to create a capsule shoe collection called Giuseppe for Jennifer Lopez.

Women’s Wear Daily reports that the collection will debut at the Footwear Fashion Association of New York’s Shoe Expo from Aug. 2 to 4 and then launch in January in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. The shoes range in price from $795 to $1,995 a pair. There are also a couple of handbags available to match.

The shoe collection is just one more piece in Lopez’s empire, which includes a fashion line for Kohl’s, a fragrance collection for Coty and a jewelry collection for Endless.

Lopez tells WWD, “I’m very proud of the businesses I’ve built. They’ve allowed me to bring really great product at an accessible price point. But I hadn’t done a high-end project yet and this seemed like the right time, medium and designer. I’ve always been passionate about shoes. Sometimes I even choose an outfit around my shoes.”

She adds, “Giuseppe is a designer I’m very loyal to because of his beautiful silhouettes and craftsmanship. It’s impossible not to feel like a more confident, sexier version of yourself when you’re wearing a pair of Zanottis. The shoes are so in line with my personal style, it felt easy and natural.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Alexandra Wilkis Wilson knows how to build a business.

In 2007, she helped launch Gilt Groupe, a members-only retail site that offers huge discounts on luxury brands. Six months ago, the company was bought for $250 million by the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, Hudson’s Bay Company.

Now, she’s turned her attention to Glamsquad, investing her own money and time along with co-founders Jason Perri and Victoria Eisner.

“I knew that it was a matter of time for me to move on, because I really love the early stage building of a business more than the tweaking of a big company environment,” Wilson told ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis.

Glamsquad users can order at-home hair and makeup services directly from the app, starting at $50. Wilson remains as a senior advisor to Gilt, but focuses her day-to-day efforts on building the mobile company that has been called the “Uber of beauty services.”

In a recent interview on “Real Biz” with Rebecca Jarvis, Wilson doled out some invaluable advice to hopeful entrepreneurs:

1. How to find the right mentor

Know the difference between mentors and role models. Just admiring someone, Wilson explains, doesn’t mean they will be on the lookout, offer support and be trustworthy with big career questions.

“Earlier in my career, I mistakenly had the thought that my mentors should all be women,” Wilson said, “and they should all be women that I want to become in the future.”

“Going to people who you love isn’t a bad place to start,” she continued. “And then going to individuals who you’ve met throughout your career who maybe really understand what you’re like in a professional context is important.”

Wilson said it’s a good idea to have multiple mentors you can turn to under different scenarios. One of Wilson’s go-to mentors? Mindy Grossman, the CEO of HSN.

2. How to build a brand

“Creating a brand in a very short period of time is critical, it’s not optional,” Wilson told Jarvis. “What is your mission, what is your vision, what is your company culture and what are elements you want to keep forever?”

Wilson added that it doesn’t have to limit a company’s specific future goals.

“We don’t use the word ‘women’ in our vision, because we want to leave it open to the possibility of servicing men in the future,” she explains.

3. How to stay focused

It’s great to have a vision — a BIG vision — when starting a company. But prioritize quality over quantity in the beginning, so the customer base learns to trust the brand.

“Clients will say what about brows, what about spray tanning, what about facials?” Wilson says. “For now, we’re going to focus on our three core services and maybe in the future, we’ll focus and expand in other ways.”

Choose a few near-term goals and focus on them. If something doesn’t meet that end, it can wait. AKA, don’t spread the company too thin.

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Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Spanning 30 chapters, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a behemoth of a government document, but its length and complexity are matched only by the impact it could have on the global economy — and the controversy it has created.

Championed by President Obama, it was one of the few White House initiatives that received bipartisan support.

Donald Trump staunchly opposes it and denounced the trade agreement at last week’s Republican National Convention.

Hillary Clinton said in October that she opposed what she has “learned about it” — after she once said it “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.”

Clinton’s somewhat ambiguous position on the deal has been derided by her opponents, many of whom seized on comments made by her friend Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe who said that she would come around to support it if elected president.

The Clinton campaign quickly sought to downplay the governor’s remarks.

But with the trade deal continuing to play a key role in the election, many people are asking: what exactly is the TTP?

In short

At its most basic, the TPP is a proposed trade agreement aimed at promoting investment and trade links between 12 countries on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The TPP club includes heavy hitters like the United States, Mexico, Japan and Australia, as well as Vietnam, Brunei and Peru. Notably absent from the group: China.

While the agreement is wide-ranging, it would lower or eliminate many tariffs on trade, introduce new labor standards and encourage environmental responsibility, among other objectives.

An agreement on the deal was reached in early October, after more than five years of talks. It is now awaiting congressional approval.

How is TPP different from other trade deals?

TPP joins an alphabet soup of acronyms representing various trade deals.

Many people confuse it with the “TPA,” which is short for Trade Promotion Authority. TPA is the authority granted by Congress to allow U.S. presidents to negotiate trade agreements. Congressional members can vote up or down on these deals but cannot offer amendments.

TPP should also not be confused with “TTIP” — the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — which involves a different ocean, the Atlantic. That agreement, which is currently being negotiated, is between the U.S. and the European Union and has similar trade objectives to the TPA.

What are the benefits of TPP?

The lower tariffs (taxes on goods that are traded internationally) could have a host of economic benefits for both consumers and producers, experts say.

“The benefit is going to a combination of access to a wider variety of better quality goods and services, it’s also going to be providing employment opportunities — it’s going to create more export-orientated businesses, more jobs,” Joshua Meltzer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told ABC News.

In other words, Meltzer says, consumers will find cheaper-priced goods. It also means that new business opportunities could be created by opening markets in Asia to American-made goods, which in turn, he says, would create jobs.

Additionally, Meltzer says, “The data clearly shows that these export-orientated businesses pay high wages.”

But don’t expect things to change dramatically, he says. The effects could be somewhat muted, since the U.S. is already very open to trade.

The trade agreement also includes provisions that could advance American values abroad — especially as it pertains to labor and environmental rights.

In November, Obama called it “the highest standard and most progressive trade deal ever concluded.”

“It includes strong protections for workers, prohibitions against child labor and forced labor,” he noted. “It has provisions to protect the environment, to help stop wildlife trafficking, to protect our oceans.”

Why do critics deride it?

Opposition to the TPP generally falls into two categories — those who think that free trade agreements and globalization generally harm American workers, and those who think the agreement doesn’t go far enough.

Trump has been a fervent critic of the agreement, underscoring his opposition late last month at a rally in Ohio.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster, done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country. Just a continuing rape of our country,” he said.

On the opposite end of the general ideological divide lies Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also believes the TPP is a threat to U.S. interests. He repeatedly spoke out against it during his presidential run.

“Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a ‘free trade’ agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system,” according to a statement on the senator’s website.

But for others, the deal doesn’t go far enough.

For Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, it’s not worth the effort, given the expected gain.

“It’s a wet firecracker you ignite and nothing is going to happen,” he told ABC News.

For Scissors, the agreement doesn’t do enough to boost services industries, which make up the largest part of the U.S. economy.

“The number one thing from [the perspective of] the U.S. as a whole is to open up services and we didn’t do that,” he lamented.

How does it affect America’s relationship with China?

In many ways, the deal reflects Obama’s ambition to increase U.S. influence in Asia. It also serves as a check on China’s growing economic influence in the region.

“When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy,” Obama said in a statement in October. “We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.”

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