Investors focus on retail sales, jobless claims - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Investors focus on retail sales, jobless claims


NEW YORK (AP) -- A heap of data on retail sales and the economy will likely sway the stock and bond markets.

The nation's big retail chains report their results for January on Thursday. Financial analysts are expecting weaker numbers as snow storms across the country kept many shoppers at home.

The Labor Department is also expected to report that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week after rising for three of the past four weeks. That will be a prelude to the more significant employment news when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report Friday.

Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 10, or 0.1 percent, at 11,975. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are down 2, or 0.1 percent, at 1,298.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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