The "Squawk on the Street" news team reports on today's top businesses headlines, including the Dow and S&P nearing all-time highs; JC Penney's larger-than-expected fourth quarter loss; and two big banks downgrading Groupon.
U.S. stock index futures struggled to hold gains Thursday, as investors digested a tepid GDP report against better-than-expected jobless claims news.
The decision to do away with sales last year had no testing behind it. So it is not a mystery why J.C. Penney has done a 180 when it comes to its promotional stance.
J.C. Penney delivered the latest dismal retail news, reporting a much larger-than-expected loss as same-store sales fell 32 percent. Shares skidded after-hours.
Stocks soared for a second day to finish near session highs Wednesday, with the Dow within less than 100 points of an all-time closing high, boosted by upbeat earnings and economic reports and as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reaffirmed his support of the central bank's stimulus policy.
Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell Wednesday:
CNBC's Courtney Reagan reports on JC Penney's earnings. The company took a hit on earnings, revenues and same-store sales.
Volatility calmed down Tuesday but brace yourself: Pros say bigger gyrations could be the norm for the next few weeks as investors watch what's going on in Washington and Europe.
The bull and bear cases for JC Penney and Macy’s from both a fundamental and technical perspective. (3:40)
Retail earnings due out Wednesday will give the market a sense of what's going on among discount shoppers. Wall Street will get the fourth-quarter earnings reports from discounters Target, Dollar Tree and TJX as well as department store JCPenney.
The department store chain reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts' expectations as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets paid off during the holiday season.
Macy's Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said he was shocked when Martha Stewart told him in 2011 that she was starting a new alliance with rival J.C. Penney.
JC Penney and Macy's head to court to battle over the legal rights to sell Martha Stewart brands, reports CNBC's Courtney Reagan.
The trial between Macy's and JC Penney over legal rights to sell certain Martha Stewart branded products resumes today, reports CNBC's Courtney Reagan.
Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren is scheduled to testify in New York State Supreme Court on Monday in a trial that pits the department store chain against rival J.C. Penney over a partnership with home diva Martha Stewart.
Washington's budget debate could stir up new anxieties as markets head into March, even with expected reassurances about Fed policy from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in the week ahead. Europe could also come back into play in the coming week, as currency traders are focused on the outcome of the Italian election.
Next week is the biggest one of the earnings season for the retailers. While each will have different nuances, and wrap up the key holiday quarter, Wall Street will be focused on the sales forecast for the current quarter.
ABC, which broadcasts the event, said it saw the highest demand for Oscar ads in over a decade. The average 30 second spot sold for between $1.65 million and $1.8 million, the highest prices since 2008, when ads averaged $1.7 million.
Hedge fund manager William Ackman, who has called nutritional supplements company Herbalife a pyramid scheme, said the biggest risk in shorting the company was whether regulators would take time to focus on the matter.
At the 2013 Harbor Investment Conference, hedge fund titan Bill Ackman makes comments on J.C. Penney.