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Stocks Spike on Strong Economic Data, Plug Powers Forward

U.S. stocks opened to the positive side Thursday, helped by better than expected economic data. February retail sales rose a Street-beating .3%, after falling .4% in January. Meanwhile weekly jobless claims came in at 315,000, which beat the consensus estimate of 330,000. Plug Power shares opened over 20% higher after the fuel-cell maker reported an in-line 8 cents a share loss on stronger-than-expected revenue of $8 million, up 35.5%. Finally, Aeropostale reports earnings after the bell today.