Closing Out the Week, Stocks Look Soft

Do you watch too many videos on your smartphone? Be careful.

AT&T (NYSE:T) is starting to limit data for customers with unlimited plans.

AT&T will send users on the 3G network a text message warning them if they use more than 3 gigabytes of data in their billing cycle. At that point, AT&T will then slow their data speeds for the remainder of the cycle. If customers are on the 4G LTE network, their speeds will slow once they hit 5 gigabytes of data.

In a statement, AT&T says the change "affects a small minority of the heaviest smartphone data users still on unlimited plans. Put another way, this does not impact more than 95% of our smartphone customers."

For some perspective, the heaviest 5% of users typically consume seven times more data each month than average, with Web video being the culprit.

AT&T does not disclose how many users are on its unlimited data plans, which ended last year for new users. However, it's estimated 17 million users have unlimited data plans. Not impacted by the changes are customers on AT&T's tiered data plans.

Meanwhile, on this final day of the trading week, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are in the plus column for the week, while the Dow Industrials are lower.

There is no major economic data out Friday, after a flurry earlier in the week. Yesterday, investors cheered data that showed first-time unemployment benefit filings plunged to a four-year low of 351,000; retail sales rose more than 4% last month; and auto sales at the nation's biggest automakers increased.  Chrysler's sales were up 40% last month from the year before; Ford (NYSE:F) sales rose more than 14%; and General Motors' (NYSE:GM) were up more than 1%.

The open for stocks on Friday is looking a little softer, with Dow futures off about 20 points.