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  • Thursday's market activity was headlined by bad news, but rose despite a jump in jobless claims, a dip in retail sales and a new report showing a 7% increase in foreclosures.

  • Traders at New York Stock Exchange.

    The economy's bumpy progress is giving the stock market more reason to pause, but the bulls are hanging on for the time being.

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    To hyphenate or not to hyphenate, that is the question on the minds of many business editors today. More than a year after changing its logo to the unhyphenated "Walmart" followed by a star burst, the world's largest retailer issued an editor's note today regarding the proper usage of its name.

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    Stocks turned mixed in afternoon trading Thursday as the bump from the encouraging business-inventories report faded and cracks emerged in the rally. But jobless claims rose unexpectedly by 4,000 to 558,000. A couple of retailers beat earnings expectations, including retail titan Wal-Mart.

  • Nordstrom came in in-line with expectations, but guidance is slightly more positive.

  • Stocks eked out a gain after a late rally Thursday as investors cheered an encouraging business-inventories report, the latest sign that the recession is winding down.

  • On the heels of my blog about whether or not Wal-Mart wants to be called Wal-Mart, Walmart, or Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., I got an earful about all the other confusing names out there. Is it K-Mart or Kmart? Bank of America-Merrill Lynch...really?

  • Plus, get calls on the banks, retail and more.

  • Plenty more retail earnings and commentary ahead.  Just don't expect a lot of gushy, positive comments--there's little incentive to do so.

  • The markets are marginally higher during intraday trading, despite a jump in jobless claims, a dip in retail sales and a new report showing a 7% increase in foreclosures.

  • There are still problems in the economy that have to be fixed before the market can continue its upward trend, said Andrew Kanaly, chairman of the Kanaly Trust Company and Bryan Piskorowski, managing director at Wells Fargo Advisors.

  • Wal-Mart: good earnings, but no significant sales growth on the horizon, and the stock price is reflecting that fact.

  • Walmart logo comparison

    There's a new rule book of sorts on how to spell the name of the world's largest retailer. Media outlets are being notified by 'Walmart' (Wal-Mart? Wal*Mart?) via an editor's note at the end of news releases

  • Stocks rebounded from a midmorning slide Thursday after a report showed business inventories continued to shrink as sales jumped, offering the latest indication that the recession is winding down.

  • A handful of retail stores reported upbeat earnings news on Thursday. Is the sector finally thawing? Retail analysts Kimberly Greenberger of Citigroup and Jeff Klinefelter of Piper Jaffray discussed their insights.

  • Stock futures down as July retail sales disappoint: are the cash for clunker critics right? U.S. stock futures turned down as July Retail Sales came in below expectations.

  • There's some positive momentum for Wall Street ahead of Thursday's session. Futures are pointing to a nice pop at the open, following yesterday's strong gains.

  • We’re going to have a couple of “very good quarters” and the stimulus is going to keep going all throughout 2010, said Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management.

  • With market-moving news happening late in the trading day, has the opportunity passed to make profitable plays on Fed announcements and treasury auctions?

  • The stock market rally will continue—but beware of a pullback, said Jeff Krumpelman of Hilliard Lyons Capital Management and Christopher Zook at CAZ Investments.