April 9 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks in two-day upswing as last week's disappointing jobs report stands alone, leaving room for the rally to resume; J.C. Penney shares slump to 12-year low, board under fire; KPMG quits as Herbalife, Skechers auditor under probe. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street was back to setting new records. Blue chips closed at a new record of 14,673. The S&P 500 flirted with a record close with strength in technology, but gains fizzled a bit into the close. Market watchers say it was the absence of any bad news which gave investors the courage to step up earlier in the day. And with tech stocks underperforming other sectors lately - tech was the place to go. So blue chip tech names like Microsoft and Intel rallied more than 3 percent. Hewlett-Packard and Cisco rose more than 1 percent. New data on job openings may help investors get over the shock of Friday's dismal jobs report. Employers had 3.9 million job openings in February, up from the 3.6 million the month before. On the corporate front, it's a day after the surprise departure of Ron Johnson as CEO of J.C. Penney and the board is under fire. Investors doubt the new CEO, who used to be the old CEO, is the answer. And Dow Jones is reporting the retailer's same-stores were down more than 10 percent in its fiscal first quarter. Douglas Blake of Newbridge Securities says a deal to take the retailer private is unlikely. SOUNDBITE: DOUGLAS BLAKE, SENIOR WEALTH MANAGER, NEWBRIDGE SECURITIES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The way that this company has been in such a dynamic downward spiral, if I was a private equity company that was looking for value - it's hard to make the case that we are there just yet. Because of the parties involved the stock probably trades to a premium of where it should be." Shares slumped to their lowest level in a dozen years. Herbalife is losing its auditor. And so its footwear company Skechers. KPMG says it will stop doing accounting work for the two companies. The FBI is probing allegations a newly fired partner - was involved in insider trading. In European action - stocks were little changed with economic recession in parts of the euro zone expected to weigh on corporate profits.