The markets were lower this morning after yesterday's monster rally, and remained in negative territory following the release of the Federal Reserve's latest minutes.
On the economic front, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing first time unemployment benefits ticked up by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, while economists were expecting 360,000 claims.
Meanwhile, the ADP employment report showed that 215,000 new private sector jobs were added in December, beating expectations.
Planned layoffs fell at U.S. firms fell in December, with 32,556 job cuts announced by employers, according a report from consultants Challenger, Gray and Christmas. This marks the first decline in four months.
TJX (NYSE:TJX) and Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) were among the retailers reporting better than expected monthly same-store sales, while Limited (NYSE:LTD) missed expectations.
Tomorrow, investors will be keeping a close eye on the government nonfarm payroll report, we'll bring you those numbers as well as a wrap up of the week's top stories.
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