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More Americans are planning to take summer vacations. Here's the Wednesday Bloomberg After The Bell Report from the New York Stock Exchange.
Retailers are struggling as those payroll tax increases take a bite out of shoppers' paychecks. Couple that with cooler temperatures and that's why Target reported a 29 percent drop in first quarter earnings and cut its profit forecast for the year.
Also hurt by the weather, home improvement retailer Lowe's. Its first-quarter profit fell short of analyst estimates. Unseasonably cold weather hurt demand for garden supplies.
Meantime, investors were taking in news from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said ending the stimulus too soon would endanger the economic recovery. But still, concern grew that the Fed will scale back on stimulus efforts if the labor market improves. Stocks closed lower on the news.
If you plan on traveling this summer, you are not alone. Lowfares.com says there's a jump in the number of people planning summer vacations and 21 percent of those people plan to set aside a larger budget than last year.