The national unemployment rate unexpectedly slipped one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.9% in February.
But the big movement among consumer data was in gas prices, up 15 cents to a national average of $3.50 for regular gallon of gas. If gas prices continue to rise, expect consumer confidence to slip from its February reading of 70.4.
On the Home Channel Stock Roundup, eight of the 10 companies tracked showed gains for the month and the year. Beacon Roofing Supply was up 10.3% for the month, and Tractor Supply Co. was up 92.5% for the year.
The Census Bureau will release its monthly Retail Trade Report March 11.