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  Friday, 14 Feb 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Shoppers break up with V-Day

Posted By: Krystina Gustafson

Fewer shoppers are feeling the love this Valentine's Day.

Following holiday season woes that the retail industry has failed to shake in the new year, the National Retail Federation said it expects Valentine's Day spending to reach $17.3 billion in 2014. That's a decline of about 7 percent from last year's tab of $18.6 billion.

(Read more: High-tech Valentine's Day gifts for your sweetheart)

"Consumers can expect Cupid's holiday to resemble the promotional holiday season we saw just a few months ago, as retailers recognize that their customers are still looking for the biggest bang for their buck," said federation President Matthew Shay.

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  Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Buried deep in snow

The winter of 2013-2014 was already bad enough before Thursday's storm threatened another foot of snow for much of the East Coast.

And it's not just you and your aching back: The maps prove there's a lot more snow in a lot more places this year than last.

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  Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 | 10:46 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Winter's cost keeps rising

Another massive winter storm is bearing down on the southeastern and eastern United States, making an already bad season that much worse.

Airlines and passengers have already lost billions of dollars on flight cancellations, while cities and towns have used up their salt and blown their overtime budgets.

And that doesn't even count the damage ice and snow have done to homes and cars.

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  Friday, 7 Feb 2014 | 8:44 AM ET

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?

Posted By: Ben Berkowitz

The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in January—but does that rate tell the real story?

A number of economists look past the "main" unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls "U-6," which it defines as "total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers."

In other words, the unemployed, the underemployed and the discouraged — a rate that still remains high.

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  Friday, 7 Feb 2014 | 7:22 AM ET

Stocks signal drop in luxe spending

Posted By: Krystina Gustafson

It stands to reason that the people who want to purchase a high-end fur coat right off the runway are often the same ones who are gambling on the stock market.

As such, there has long been a correlation between the sentiment of affluent consumers—who may covet the brands on display during New York Fashion Week—and stock market performance.

Unity Marketing, a firm that specializes in providing business insights into the luxury consumer, conducts a quarterly survey among the top 20 percent of U.S. households based on income, which typically starts at about $100,000. To participate, the households must have purchased a luxury good or service in the past three months.

(Read more: Michael Kors rally won't set a retail trend)

The survey asks these affluent consumers a series of questions—including how they feel about their financial status now and in the future, and how they feel about the direction of the country. A statistician then compiles the responses to pull together a figure representative of the group's confidence, which is known as the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI).

A score of 100 is the baseline from when the survey began in 2004.

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  Thursday, 6 Feb 2014 | 10:14 AM ET

Chart of the Day: GM's European money pit

GM says it's on track to break even in Europe by 2015, but it will have lost a lot of money on the way there.

The company posted another quarter of European losses on Thursday and faced tough questions about whether it could turn that business around. Executives say yes, while acknowledging the road there has been difficult.

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  Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 | 7:45 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Cheaper to buy a bigger house

It's getting cheaper and cheaper to buy a big house.

The latest weekly applications data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows a widening gap between the rate on so-called conforming mortgages ($417,000 or less) and jumbo mortgages (those above $417,000).

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  Tuesday, 4 Feb 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: The slow pace of financial reform

Posted By: John W. Schoen

If your boss is getting on your case for missing deadlines at work, tell her your track record isn't nearly as bad as federal financial regulators.

More than three years ago, Congress passed the sweeping, 850-page Dodd-Frank overhaul of the rule book that bankers, brokers and the rest of the financial services industry is supposed to play by. But to date, only about half of those new rules have been completed by the dozen or so agencies in charge of writing and enforcing them. About a quarter of the rules haven't even been proposed.

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  Monday, 3 Feb 2014 | 9:39 AM ET

Chart of the Day: Super Bowl blues for TV, Twitter

Denver's not the only one that couldn't score on Sunday.

Early ratings for Super Bowl XLVIII confirm what many suspected - the Seahawks' thumping of the Broncos turned viewers away from Fox's broadcast.

(Read more: Super Bowl coverage)

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  Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 | 7:00 AM ET

Chart of the Day: The Super Bowl snack king is...

Posted By: Katie Little

As the country's biggest sporting event draws near, experts are already forecasting one winner in the Super Bowl: the snacking industry.

This year, 181 million Americans are expected to watch the Big Game, according to a recent national Retail Federation survey, and more than three quarters plan to buy food and drinks for the occasion.

Game day provides a demand windfall for many segments.

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