Market Wrap: Retailers Slinging More in Feb.; Another 'W' for Jobless Claims; Crude Explosion!; BofA's (BAC) New Fees

March 1, 2012 5:46 PM EST Send to a Friend
Market wrap-up for March 1st

End of the Day: Dow Jones up 28.2 to 12,980.30; Nasdaq up 22.1 to 2,988.97; S&P 500 up 8.4 to 1,374.09

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:
  • Consumers picking up some after, after-holiday deals: Retailers were sittin' pretty across the board Thursday following largely better-than-expected sales numbers for the month of February. Research firm Redbook reported overall gains of 6.6 percent in comparable-store sales. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT) ended the session up 1.2 percent. Notably, Gap (NYSE: GPS) finished 7.2 percent better for one of the stronger retail performances Thursday.

    For more color on February sales and comps, click here.

  • Well, the DMV line is still clogged: Initial claims continue their winning ways Thursday, with the latest data showing applications dropped 2,000 from the prior week. According to new data out from the Labor Department, initial claims dropped to 351,000 last week, which beat views calling for a move to 355,000. The four week moving average also fell to its lowest rate since March 2008, hitting 345,000, a decline of 14,500.

    For more color, click here.

  • Just when thinks were looking up in the world of oil: Crude oil moved about $110 per barrel late-Thursday following reports of a pipeline explosion in Saudi Arabia. A Saudi official has since said news of the pipeline attack are "untrue."

    The WSJ noted the region is "a flashpoint for tensions between religious minorities and the established government." Whew! It's a good thing the region isn't a flashpoint for tensio...hey, wait a second!

  • Protip: Bury it somewhere in the legal jargon: Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) is trying to squeeze out more profits from its customers again. Reports Thursday suggest BofA testing out a $6 to $9 monthly fee for an "Essentials" account, the WSJ reports. Markets currently being tested include Massachusetts, Georgia, and Arizona. Other account options might mean fees of $9, $12, $15, or $25, but those might be waived if holders are able to meet minimum balances, use a credit card, or acquire a BofA mortgage.

    For more color on BofA's new effort, click here.

  • No data for you!: AT&T (NYSE: T) is capping uncapped data plans, according to the company Thursday. Both unlimited 3G and 4G customers will see speed caps after they exceed 3-gigabytes (GB) and 5-GB, respectively. Prior to this move, AT&T only throttled-down speeds on the top 5 percent of data hogs.

    With the surge in popularity of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone, AT&T has been spending billions to both build out a 4G network and acquire more spectrum.
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