On the heels of mixed economic data stocks tacked on modest gains ahead of the Easter holiday. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Stocks closed out the holiday-shortened trading week, tiptoeing higher following a trio of economic reports. All three major stock indices gaining ground. For the week, the major U.S. indexes were mixed. Weekly jobless claims dropped to a near 15-year low, pointing to a labor market that continues to grow at a solid clip. JPMorgan Senior Economist, Jim Glassman: SOUNDBITE: JIM GLASSSMAN, SENIOR ECONOMIST, JPMORGAN CHASE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We're getting a lot of news that suggests there's some disruptions going on in GDP growth has been very slow, and yet for all the crosscurrents that are happening, we see jobless claims holding pretty steady and at a very low level." U.S. factory orders for February snapping a string of declines rising to their highest level in eight months. Oil prices took yet another hit, falling as nuclear talks with Iran continue. And cheaper oil prices pushed February's U.S. trade deficit lower to $35.4 billion, not seen since 2009. Exports hit a two-and-a-half year low - a sign that American companies are feeling the strong dollar and a weak global economy. Americans are still buying lots of used cars. Shares of CarMax surging after the country's biggest retailer of pre-owned vehicles beat profit and sales forecasts in the most recent quarter. Shares of Google feeling some heat on word that European regulators getting ready to file antitrust charges against it, according to the Wall Street Journal. Oveseas European stocks closed relatively flat ahead of the Easter holiday.