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  • The Dow opened higher Friday amid a giant sigh of relief in the market that only half a million jobs were lost in December. Market buzz had indicated the number could be as high as a million.

  • Asian markets were mixed Friday, with South Korea's Kospi shedding 2 percent after the central bank cut rates.

  • The December jobs report has been hanging over the markets like a dark cloud all week. Its importance has grown larger by the day as economists ratcheted up their expectations for job losses.

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    "I’m starting to see some chinks in the armor which is concerning," says Jeff Macke. Is he changing his view on Wal-Mart?

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    The Dow and S&P 500 fell on Thursday as Wal-Mart's soft December sales and lowered earnings outlook increased worry the recession may be deepening.

  • Stocks ended mixed as dismal December retail sales — notably from discount giant Wal-Mart — offset strength in techs, led by Microsoft.

  • Despite tremendous fear that the nonfarm payroll report would be a complete disaster tomorrow, traders acted like there was little urgency. Volume was light, volatility was low and with the exception of one sector (retail) all S&P sectors were up or down less than one percent.

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    The market is pouring over a dismal set of numbers from the retail sector. And retail analyst Howard Davidowitz sees a trade!

  • Stocks took a hit from weak December retail sales — even from some of the biggest discount names — but trimmed losses arround midday as strength from Microsoft helped push the Nasdaq into positive territory.

  • Weaker-than-expected December numbers from Wal-Mart sent stock futures sharply lower as retailers overall painted a bleak picture of holiday sales.

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    Futures dropped 5 points on disappointing guidance from Wal-Mart. We were expecting a poor December retail sales report, and for the most part it did not disappoint.

  • Weaker-than-expected December numbers from Wal-Mart sent stock futures sharply lower as retailers overall painted a bleak picture of holiday sales.

  • Discounters are the Lords of Retailing in this recessionary economic realm, according to Telsey Advisory Group chief research officer Dana Telsey.  "The warehouse clubs, the discounters overall...whether it's high-end or low-end, the changes in the environment are leading consumers of all income levels to want value," she told CNBC.

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    In this Web Extra, find out how the traders are gaming the latest retail sales numbers, jobless claims, Obama's economic speech and more!

  • Stocks logged their worst loss in about a month Wednesday amid some dismal predictions on the jobs front and as profit warnings started to roll in.

  • Call this one Reality Check Part Two: a weaker than expected ADP report, along with disappointing earnings guidance from Time Warner and Intel, a big restructuring from Alcoa, and an 11 percent pullback in oil which pulled commodities and commodity stocks down all weighed on the markets today.

  • Stocks fell sharply Wednesday amid more dismal news on the employment front as Alcoa announced huge job cuts and Intel slashed its revenue forecast.

  • Stocks fell sharply Wednesday amid more dismal news on the employment front as Alcoa announced huge job cuts and Intel slashed its revenue forecast.

  • Stocks ended a topsy-turvy session higher as investors juggled a profit warning from Bank of America and some dismal economic news with optimism over the Obama stimulus plan.

  • Stocks were on their way back up again as investors shrugged of some disappointing economic data and kept an optimistic outlook about President-elect Obama's economic-stimulus plan.