The S&P 500 is down one percent for the week after being up four weeks in a row. So far, the declines we have seen this year have been on the order of three percent.
U.S. stock market futures indicated a higher opening on Wednesday, ahead of a closely-watched speech by Fed Chair Ben Bernanke.
While 94 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index have already reported quarterly earnings, this week remains a key week for the retail industry with 24 retailers reporting earnings—12 of which are S&P 500 components.
Abnormally cold weather curbs consumer demand for spring goods and apparel, but some companies, including drug chains and dollar stores, are benefiting from the spring’s delay.
After a difficult January, when shoppers first felt the effect of a payroll tax hike that lowered take-home pay by 2 percent, some retailers got a little relief in February from growing employment and a rising stock market.
Stocks ended higher Wednesday, with the Dow extending its gains to post a record high for the second-straight day, amid signs of improvement in the labor market.
Take a look at some of Wednesday's midday movers:
U.S. stock index futures were higher Wednesday, with the Dow poised to extend its gains a day after hitting an all-time high, following a better-than-expected private sector employment report.
Here are a handful of stocks to watch if small-cap and mid-cap mergers accelerate in 2013. TheStreet.com reports.
"We're close to it. The market fluctuates, and I think it's going to rise and we'll probably see it soon," one pro said.
The behavior of teen retail stocks can be fickle, reports CNBC's Courtney Reagan.
Central bankers on both sides of the Atlantic could stir the markets Thursday. The European Central Bank and Bank of England both meet ahead of the U.S. open, but more interesting to them are the comments expected from two Fed hawks - Kansas City Fed President Esther George and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard.
Retail sales reports from a handful of retailers on Thursday will provide another peek at holiday spending and help gauge how consumer spending is shaping up. But the expected dour reports may not foreshadow a poor 2013 for retailers.
Some of the names on the move ahead of the open.
The mobile shopping app Kickshop rewards consumers for just being in a store.
Topshop has its sights set on expansion plans in the US and Asia, and that could be a big worry for some US retailers.
Cramer makes the call on viewer favorites.
Among retailers poised for a profitable holiday shopping season, several names look to stand out in the sector, Durban Capital’s Steve Kernkraut said Thursday on CNBC.
As Black Friday kicks into full swing, one analyst detailed four retail stocks that are the early morning winners with the most traffic so far.
Three retail companies are poised to cash in big on Black Friday, J Rogers Kniffen CEO Jan Kniffen said Wednesday on CNBC.