Stocks Hang On to Snap Losing Streak
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that the March trade gap increased to a greater-than-expected $51.8 billion, up from $45.4 billion in February. Economists expected the trade gap to grow to $50 billion.
"The wider trade gap is a GDP negative; however the prior was revised down a bit so some offset there," said David Ader, a bond strategist with CRT Group.
In other U.S. headlines, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, during a speech at a conference sponsored by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, said that bank lending is improving and the banking system is become healthier and more resilient. He also said that credit conditions have been improving in many ways, but remain tight in areas such as mortgages and commercial real estate.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 5/32, raising the yield to 1.888%. The greenback was down 0.03%, according to the dollar index.
In other corporate news, retailer Kohl's(KSS) reported Thursday first-quarter net income of $154 million, or 63 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $201 million, or 69 cents a share, but ahead of Wall Street's estimate for a profit of 61 cents a share.
But the department store operator forecast earnings of 96 cents to $1.02 a share for the second quarter, below the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of $1.13 a share, and the stock dipped 4.3%.
Priceline.com(PCLN) , the online travel reservation company, reported mixed quarterly results on Wednesday and provided soft guidance.
Priceline earned $4.28 a share in the quarter, topping analysts' estimates of $3.95 a share, but revenue of $1.037 billion was shy of expectations. For the second quarter ending in June, Priceline forecast non-GAAP earnings of $7.20 to $7.40 a share; analysts are calling for profit of $7.37 a share. The stock closed lower by more than 5%.
Monster Beverage(MNST) , the energy drink maker, on Wednesday reported strong first-quarter results. For the three months ended March 31, the company reported earnings of $76.1 million, or 41 cents a share, as sales rose 27.5% to $454.6 million. The average estimate of analysts called for a profit of 38 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $447.1 million. The shares rose more than 9%.