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  • Stock index futures pared gains and traded flat despite news of a slightly better-than-expected drop in jobless claims and better-than-expected chain store sales, but also after largely expected news that the European Central Bank raised interest rates.

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    As retailers gear up to report monthly same-store sales Thursday, analysts are expecting March to be a challenging month with the late arrival of Easter and rising gas prices.

  • S&P futures popped 4 points as the December ADP Employment Change, which measures private sector job growth, was three times anticipated (297,000 vs. 100,000 consensus). If Friday's nonfarm payroll looks anything close to this, the improving trend in job growth will be undeniable.

  • Notable midday drops in commodities, along with midday drops in our parent company General Electric, Potash, Freeport McMoran, and others, all without news, led many to conclude that a simple sell program of recent market leaders had come through.

  • FedEx's disappointing earnings report dropped futures about 4 points pre-open; initial jobless claims and Housing Starts for November (slightly stronger than expected) had little impact pre-open.

  • Trading was focused yesterday on the November 60 calls, where more than 3,600 were bought for $0.55 to $0.65 at more than double the open interest.

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    Although retailers are expected to report monthly sales gains that are below last year's levels, there are still expected to be some bright spots in the report that bode well for the upcoming Christmas holiday shopping season.

  • Stocks sank in the last half hour of trading Thursday top close near the sesssion's lows amid light volume after a batch of economic reports failed to provide traders with enough optimism to continue a September rally.  Walt Disney and GE fell, while Hewlett-Packard rose.

  • Stocks sank in the last half hour of trading Thursday after a batch of economic reports failed to provide traders with enough optimism to continue a September rally.  Walt Disney and GE fell, while Hewlett-Packard rose.

  • Stocks turned positive Thursday as technology and consumer stocks gained, and banks fell, and investors absorbed another batch of mixed economic data.  Alcoa and Hewlett-Packard rose, while Walt Disney fell.

  • Stock index futures pointed to a lower open Thursday after an expected jump in weekly jobless claims.

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    Weekly jobless claims and existing home sales are the key numbers to watch Thursday, but investors will keep their focus on the volatile foreign exchange market.

  • Markets “hate uncertainty” and there’s still plenty of that going around, said Robert Doll, chief equity strategist at BlackRock. He shared his insights on the economy.

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    All three of the nation's largest drugstore chains—CVS Caremark, Walgreen and Rite Aid—as well as Target are making a big bets that they will be able to draw shoppers with their flu vaccination programs.

  • Futures dropped, then recovered a bit, as initial and continuing claims were higher than expected. Start of a new quarter, and first trading day of the month. It is one of the oddities of trading that the Dow Industrials have their biggest point gains on the first day of the month, on average (Trader's Almanac). It's really quite significant...

  • The Dow squeaked out a gain Wednesday after the Fed renewed its pledge to keep rates low and offered a statement with no surprises.

  • Bids are light. This was no selloff yesterday: bidders simply walked away. Consolidated volume at the NYSE (trading in all NYSE listed stocks on all exchanges) was 4.7 billion shares (5 billion is normal), one of the lighter volume days of the year.

  • Stocks turned lower Wednesdy after a report showed new home sales hit a record low last month.

  • US stock index futures pushed higher Wednesday, after stocks closed lower Tuesday as a result of weak housing data

  • Stocks fell sharply Tuesday, dragged down by disappointing housing data and weakness in energy shares.