Some promising news for the labor market and an increase in regional manufacturing activity helped stocks edge higher, on this light trading day.
The number of Americans signing up for unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 last week to 351,000, according to the Labor Department.
That was better than economists expected, and also matches a four-year low.
Meanwhile, producer prices rose 0.4 percent in February, which was an improvement over the prior month when we saw an increase of 0.1 percent.
Also on the economic front, the Philadelphia Fed Index climbed to 12.5 this month, marking an 11 month high. Economists were expecting a reading of 12.0.
Clothing maker Guess (NYSE:GES) reported fourth quarter earnings after the bell yesterday, and posted a disappointing earnings forecast which was well below expectations. The company attributed its loss to lower sales in Europe, which accounts for 40 percent of its revenue. Shares of Guess are trading lower today.
Also among retailers, Rue 21 (NASDAQ:RUE) posted a 19 percent increase in fourth quarter earnings but revenue growth and same store sales fell short of expectations.
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