A rally in energy stocks helped to lift stocks into positive territory, despite a rise in weekly jobless claims. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks eked out a third straight win after spending the morning in the red. Energy stocks led the way as oil prices edged higher. Investors saw mixed economic numbers. Weekly jobless claims rose, but layoffs fell in February. Services employment fell, but factory orders rebounded. Investors are confused, says Jeff Tomasulo of Vespula Capital: SOUNDBITE: JEFF TOMASULO, CEO, VESPULA CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We were down almost eleven percent going into February, and over the last 2.5 weeks, we've made back nine percent, so when you have that kind of move, I think, there's a lot of confusion going on what direction we're going to head in." Weak results from retail: Kroger warned comparable sales growth would slow this year. Its stock was the S&P 500's biggest decliner on the day. Costco also lower after the discount retailer reported a strong dollar and weak traffic had hurt its quarterly same-store sales growth. Tumi's shares rocketed up to its highest level since their debut four years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports Samsonite International is near a deal to buy the maker of high-end suitcases. Herbalife's shares dropped after the nutritional supplements maker said it overstated membership growth due to a database error. European shares snapped a five-session win streak, pressured by healthcare and tech stocks.