A late rebound in energy stocks helped the Dow and S&P 500 avoid a fourth straight session of declines one day before the government releases the monthly jobs data. Fred Katayama reports.
The S&P 500 and Dow snapped their three-day losing streak Thursday, led higher by healthcare and energy stocks. Bank stocks initially rose amid signs of strength in the labor market. The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits remained below 300,000 for the 105th week. U.S. Bank senior portfolio manager Eric Wiegand. SOUNDBITE: ERIC WIEGAND, SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, U.S. BANK, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There's a just a pause, a collective pause among investors waiting for the data. In all likelihood, investors are thinking that we're going to get confirming data from the Labor (Department) releases tomorrow, particularly when we look at the average hourly earnings as well as the non-farm payrolls with a good likelihood that we'll see a potential upside surprise to consensus." PPG shares falling after Dutch paint maker Akzo Nobel rejected its $22 billion bid. One analyst said he doubts PPG could overcome Akzo's opposition and that regulators would oppose any deal. AIG shares rising after its CEO said he plans to step down. Peter Hancock 's move comes after a setback in its turnaround plan and a year after activist investor Carl Icahn called for a breakup of the insurance giant. Store closures at two retailers. Staples will shut down about 70 stores in North America this year. The office supply chain also reported a decline in quarterly sales and sales at existing stores. Electronics chain RadioShack filed for bankruptcy for a second time and said it'll close about 200 stores. A rally in financials and telecom stocks lifted European shares. But the FTSE finished in the red.