NEW YORK — U.S. stocks dipped on Monday, weighed down by soft data out of China and Boeing’s latest production setback. Merger and acquisition announcements, however, as well as company-specific news including on Facebook and Alexion Pharma, helped keep the S&P 500 and Nasdaq from bigger losses. China’s exports unexpectedly tumbled 18.1 percent in February, against expectations for a 6.8 percent rise, swinging the trade balance into deficit and adding to fears of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. “There’s reasons to be a little cautious on the market.
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks posted their best day of the year on Thursday after a drop in applications for unemployment insurance boosted confidence in the economy and Disney’s results overshot expectations. The rally came ahead of the widely-followed payrolls report for January due Friday, which some are expecting to be affected by the extreme weather that hit much of the United States. December’s number was a much-lower-than-expected 74,000 and an upward revision wouldn’t be a surprise. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 331,000.