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Stock futures had a bumpy ride on Thursday morning, initially edging uncomfortably down after yesterday’s tremendous gains. However, new jobs reports and high expectations for December car and retail sales helped curb losses.
Markets at 9:37 a.m.: S&P: -0.25%, Nasdaq: -0.26%, Dow: -0.34%.
The state of California is reportedly suing Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) for violating environmental laws by failing to maintain underground gas storage tanks properly. The civil suit specifically accuses the companies of tampering with leak-detection devices.
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Shares of Gap (NYSE:GPS) enjoyed a pre-market boost on Thursday, popping as much as 5 percent after two announcements. One, December 2012 net sales grew 5 percent. Two, it has acquired INTERMIX Holdco, a multi-brand specialty retailer of luxury and contemporary women’s apparel and accessories, for about $130 million in cash. Retailers across the board are reacting to December sales data, released today.
Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI) announced that effective January 1, Bracken Darrell became the new chief executive of the company. Shares were up as much as 1 percent in the pre-market following the news, which was expected. Darrell, previously a president at Whirlpool Corp (NYSE:WHR), joined Logitech earlier in the year ahead of the transition.
The ADP National Employment Report shows that the U.S. economy added 215,000 private-sector jobs in December, a 45 percent gain on the number of jobs added in November, but a 26.6 percent drop compared to the number of jobs added in December 2011.
The Department of Labor released its weekly claims report, which put the advanced figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims at 372,000, a 2.7 percent jump from last week. The four-week moving average climbed fractionally to 360,000.
American coal mining and heavy-equipment manufacturers have their eyes on China’s non-manufacturing PMI, which hit 56.1 in December led by a construction services PMI of 61.9. Tremendous amounts of infrastructure spending in China mixed with healthy GDP growth could mean good things for American exporters.
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