Stocks plunged sharply Thursday, with the Dow down more than 500 points, in its worst one-day decline since December 2008. All three major averages tumbled into negative territory for the year as investors were rattled over an intensifying global economic slowdown and ahead of the widely-followed monthly unemployment report.
Many retailers outpaced Wall Street estimates for monthly sales in June, according to early reports out Thursday.
Do earnings reports from Gap and others signal that higher commodity costs are starting to hit companies where it hurts - on the bottom line?
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.
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.
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 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 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 trimmed losses but remained down after news of a 7.4-magnitude earthquake east of Sendai Honshu, in northern Japan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Shares of smaller companies are on track to double the return of their bigger peers. But will they remain turbo-charged into 2011?
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.