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  • Do earnings reports from Gap and others signal that higher commodity costs are starting to hit companies where it hurts - on the bottom line?

  • Retailers Largely Outpace Sales Estimates in April Thursday, 5 May 2011 | 11:42 AM ET
    Man shopping for shirts

    The late timing of the Easter holiday helped retailers report April sales that outpaced analysts' estimates, however, there were some signs that consumers are facing increasing pressure from gas prices.

  • Retail Sales Preview: Retailers Get an Easter Treat Wednesday, 4 May 2011 | 2:30 PM ET
    Woman selecting clothes from rail in shop

    Retailers are expected to get a boost from a late Easter when they report their monthly sales on Thursday. The Thomson Reuters Same-Store Sales Index is expected to post an 8.4 percent increase in April, compared with April 2010's 0.7 percent gain. A rundown of the estimates.

  • shopping_new01.jpg

    A quarter of teenagers were jobless in March, even as the unemployment rate for the rest of the population decreased. This figure may only get worse if budget-strapped states raise the minimum wage.

  • Stocks Close Off Lows Hit After Earthquake Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 4:56 PM ET
    CNBC - Disaster in Japan - Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

    Stocks closed well off the lows of the day after plunging in the wake of a powerful earthquake in Japan renewed investor fears about supply disruptions and the ongoing nuclear crisis, and as oil jumped above $110 a barrel. Caterpillar fell, while Home Depot rose.

  • Stocks Hold Losses Ahead of Close Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 3:55 PM ET

    Stocks continued to trade lower ahead of the close, failing to rebound entirely after another powerful earthquake in Japan renewed investor fears about supply disruptions and the ongoing nuclear crisis, and as oil jumped above $110 a barrel.  GE and Cisco fell, while Home Depot rose.

  • Stocks Pare Losses After Quake Triggers Plunge Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 12:02 PM ET

    Stocks trimmed losses but remained down after news of a 7.4-magnitude earthquake east of Sendai Honshu, in northern Japan.

  • Chain-Store Sales Not as Bad as Expected Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 9:38 AM ET
    Woman shopping for a dress

    Most retailers posting March same-store sales Thursday delivered results that were better than analysts' expectations, providing some reassurance that consumers are still spending despite the late Easter and unusually cold weather.

  • Futures Turn Flat Despite Upbeat Jobs News Thursday, 7 Apr 2011 | 9:18 AM ET

    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.

  • Chain-Store Sales Expected to Decline 0.7% for March Wednesday, 6 Apr 2011 | 5:48 PM ET
    Woman shopping for clothes

    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.

  • Most Retailers Top Estimates, Some See Weak March Thursday, 3 Mar 2011 | 9:56 AM ET

    Despite storms and rising gasoline prices, many retailers reportedly monthly sales managed to top analysts' estimates, but some warned of a weaker March due the timing of the Easter holiday.

  • Retailers Posting Surprisingly Strong Sales in January Thursday, 3 Feb 2011 | 10:05 AM ET
    Shoppers on Broadway in the snow

    Fears that winter weather would result in disappointing retail sales may have been overblown, as several retailers have not only reported better-than-expected monthly sales reports, they are also raising fourth-quarter earnings estimates.

  • Dow Closes Above 12,000, S&P Above 1,300 Tuesday, 1 Feb 2011 | 4:42 PM ET

    Stocks ended sharply higher as the Dow and the S&P 500 hit new multi-year highs, easily erasing losses from Friday's sharp sell-off on turmoil in Egypt as investors focused on upbeat earnings and economic news.

  • Stocks Rise Above Thresholds Before Close Tuesday, 1 Feb 2011 | 3:54 PM ET

    Stocks added to solid gains on Tuesday, pushing the Dow and S&P 500 to multi-year highs, as the market easily erased losses from Friday's sharp sell-off in the wake of turmoil in Egypt as investors focused on upbeat earnings and economic news. Pfizer and Alcoa rose, while P&G fell.

  • Retailers Fall Short as Blizzard, Angst Freeze Spending Thursday, 6 Jan 2011 | 10:16 AM ET
    Shoppers take a break at the Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, Texas.

    Despite reporting some of the strongest sales gains in four years, retailers largely fell short of Wall Street's estimates as a still-cautious consumer spent their money carefully, and a Northeast blizzard stole from post-Christmas sales.

  • Shoppers stop to look at the newly decorated Christmas floor at KADEWE department store in Berlin, Germany.

    Heading into Thursday's batch of retail sales reports, expectations are high that retailers will report their strongest sales in four years. However, as BJ's Wholesale's report showed Wednesday, there are sure to be some misses here and there.

  • Small Stocks Double Return of Big Caps in 2010 Friday, 17 Dec 2010 | 2:13 PM ET

    Shares of smaller companies are on track to double the return of their bigger peers. But will they remain turbo-charged into 2011?

  • Stocks End Up; Dow Hits Highest Level in 2 Years Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 | 5:00 PM ET

    Stocks closed off session highs, yet the Dow still hit its highest level since before Lehman Brothers collapsed as Treasury yields soared in the wake of the Federal Reserve's reaffirmation of its decision to buy bonds to stimulate the economy. AT&T and Kraft rose, while JPMorgan fell.

  • Stocks Turn Mixed as Banks, Energy Falls Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 | 3:59 PM ET

    Stocks trimmed some gains but remained mostly higher Tuesday after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its decision to buy bonds to stimulate the economy and left short-term interest rates unchanged. Kraft and Microsoft rose, while JPMorgan fell.

  • Stocks Gain; Health Care Rises, JPM Slips Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 | 11:21 AM ET

    Stocks continued to trade higher Tuesday after a handful of mostly strong economic reports, and despite weak earnings from leading electronics retailer Best Buy, as investors await news from the Federal Reserve's meeting this afternoon. Boeing and Cisco rose, while JPMorgan fell.