All major U.S. indices closed the day ahead on Thursday as investors seemed optimistic about the upcoming monthly jobs data on Friday. Leading into Friday’s numbers, the weekly jobless claims data indicated that the labor market may be picking up its recovery. The retail industry had an active trading day as several companies released February same-store sales numbers, with Gap Inc (GAP) jumping 4% on better-than-expected results. Shares of cable provider Time Warner Inc (TWX) rose nearly 2.5% after it said that it would spin off its magazine unit. U.S. bank stocks also had an encouraging day on news that most big banks had passed the Fed’s “stress tests”, with Bank of America (BAC) gaining nearly 3%.
Word on the Street
- U.S. consumer borrowing rose in January by the largest amount in 5 months.
- Pandora Media (P) announced that CEO Joe Kennedy would be stepping down.
- Facebook (FB) announced plans to change its news feed into a “Personalized Newspaper”.
- Rumors circulated on Thursday about a deal in which Intel (INTC) would begin making chips for Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad.
- US household wealth has regained its pre-recession peak.