- - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WALL STREET

Dow breaks 13,000 but can’t hold gains

NEW YORK — The Dow Jones industrial average crossed 13,000 for the first time since May 2008, before the financial crisis nearly unraveled the U.S. economy. But the marker didn’t last long.

The Dow hit 13,000 just before 11:30 a.m. and stayed there for about 30 seconds, then dropped back. It reclaimed the level again around noon and just after 1:30 p.m. But the Dow gave up most of its gains for the day and finished up 16 points at 12,966.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose a point to 1,362. The Nasdaq composite didn’t fare as well, falling three points to 2,949.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. dragged the market down Tuesday after their quarterly results missed analysts’ expectations.

RETAIL

Holiday spending pushes Macy's, Saks profits up

NEW YORK — A strong holiday shopping season and hearty online sales pushed Macy's Inc.’s fourth quarter net income up 12 percent. That topped Wall Street’s expectations, and the department store chain’s stock hit a 52-week high.

Macy's, which runs upscale Bloomingdale’s as well as Macy's stores, has been outperforming midprice peers such as Kohl’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co., which will report their quarterly results on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Upscale retailer Saks Inc. also reported a strong fourth quarter, with net income up 48 percent, buoyed by strong sales of handbags, fine jewelry and men’s and women’s clothing.

The New York department store operator, which caters to affluent shoppers, bounced back from the recession much quicker than other retailers because the wealthy returned to spending faster than middle- to low-income shoppers have.

SOCIAL MEDIA

U.K. court OKs legal claim to be served via Facebook

LONDON — Legal authorities said Tuesday that a High Court judge in England has approved the use of Facebook to serve legal claims.

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