June 9 - Summary of business headlines: Bulls return, but skeptics stay put; Record exports boost economy hopes, but job worries linger; Citigroup reveals computer hacker attack. Conway G. Gittens reports.
For the first time in seven days - Wall Street finished up. Investors were encouraged by monthly trade figures which usually aren't much of a market mover. But a jump in U.S. exports to record levels soothed concerns about manufacturing sector and the global economy. An unexpected jump in weekly jobless claims didn't dampen the upbeat outlook. Applications for unemployment benefits have stood above 400,000 for nine weeks in a row, adding more evidence of a softening labor market. Citigroup says data for about 200,000 of its North American bank card holders were compromised. Customer names, account numbers, contact information and email addresses were part of the security breach, but birth dates, social security numbers, card expiration dates and card security codes were not. The bank has come under criticism for not revealing the computer hacking, which occurred in May, earlier. The banking industry, as a whole, is taking data protection very seriously, says Maria Coyne, executive Vice President at KeyBank. SOUNDBITE: MARIA COYNE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, KEYBANK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We always worry about protecting customer data and I think it has been a huge area of focus, in terms of, both in terms of an organization - a financial services organization making important investments in infrastructure that will continue to protect and safeguard our client's data." Citigroup is not alone in being hacked. Sony, Google, and defense company Lockheed Martin are all recent victims. Back to the markets now: stocks finished off their highs of the day - but up nonetheless. In Europe: the European Central Bank didn't move interest rates, but did push back against forcing private creditors to take part in Greek debt relief. Stocks were broadly higher, also snapping a six-day losing streak. Conway Gittens, Reuters