Wall St. Trading Is Tepid, Weighed Down by Retail

1 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Signs of weak holiday spending send retail stocks lower.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were lower in quiet trading Monday as traders returned from the Thanksgiving holiday. KEEPING SCORE In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.11 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 0.14 percent. Retail stocks fell after initial data from Black Friday and the first holiday shopping weekend showed shoppers were not going to stores as much as last year.

However, reports from research firms like ChannelAdvisor showed strong growth in sales online. “We believe Black Friday has gone from a period of management excitement to one of anguish,” the Nomura retail analysts Simeon Siegel, Gene Vladimirov and Julie Kim wrote in a note to investors. INTEREST RATES: The European Central Bank is widely expected to give the region’s economy another dose of stimulus as it tries to keep a recovery going and get inflation closer to 2 percent. Probable measures include extending the current 1.1 trillion-euro, or $1.2 trillion, stimulus program and increasing the amount banks have to pay to keep money at the central bank. IN CONTRAST: While the ECB moves toward increasing stimulus, the Federal Reserve is getting ready to start raising interest rates for the first time since June 2006. ANALYST’S TAKE “Although not all members of the Governing Council are convinced of the need for additional action, they appear to be in the minority,” said Thomas Kobel, an economist at the Swedish bank S.E.B.

A series of U.S. economic reports this week, culminating with Friday’s jobs survey for November, could cement investors’ expectations for a rate hike at the Fed’s next policy meeting in mid-December. “Unless this report is a total disaster, I think it’s very, very likely the Fed is going to raise in December,” said Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 3.2 cents to $1.359 a gallon, heating oil fell 1.6 cents to $1.337 a gallon and natural gas rose 2.3 cents to $2.235 per 1,000 cubic feet. ENERGY Benchmark United States crude oil rose 64 cents to $42.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, was up 46 cents at $45.31 a barrel in London.

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