Federal Reserve defends its independence
Federal Reserve deputy chairman Donald Kohn on Thursday defended the independence of the US central bank and urged Congress to respect the central bank's independence to conduct monetary policy. According to Kohn congressional oversight could hurt the economy and not be in the best interests of financial markets and the public.

Unemployment claims drop
For the first time since January, the number of Americans filing for unemployment claims fell in the past week according to reports from the Labor Department. The number of initial claims in the week ending July 4 fell 52,000 to 565,000.

Citigroup Gets new CFO
Citigroup announced its biggest changes in management since the start of the economic crisis as it faces intense government pressure to improve performance. The bank replaced its chief financial officer with John Gerspach. The bank has received $45 billion in aid from the government since last fall, part of which is being converted to a 34 percent equity stake in the bank.