Stocks Flat on Volatile Trading Ahead of Long Weekend

U.S. stocks were flat in volatile trading on Thursday, ahead of a long Easter weekend, as another drop in healthcare stocks blunted gains from upbeat industrial earnings and robust retail sales data.

U.S. retail sales increased by the most in 1-1/2 years in March, the latest indication that economic growth picked up in the first quarter after a false start.



The economy’s strength was underscored by data that showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest in nearly 50 years last week.

“Retail sales really came back roaring. It looks like the consumer made up for the government shutdown and there were good numbers in jobless claims,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza