Retailers with a store footprint heavily skewed to the Northeast are most at risk to losing sales because of the snowstorm.» Read More
U.S. retail chains may report some of their worst monthly sales results this week as the global financial crisis leaves its mark on ordinary consumers, casting new doubt on holiday season sales.
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The monthly S&P/Case Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities showed a 15.9 percent drop from the same period a year ago. Both new and existing home sales indicate that price declines continue, although the severity of the decline seems to be moderating.
The German business confidence index (Ifo) declined to the lowest levels since August 2005, increasing concerns about a weakening Europe. The dollar has popped to its highest levels of the year. And Russia's stock market is down 5 percent to its lowest levels in six years, as most European countries are signaling they will not recognize the breakaway states of Georgia.
U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly higher open for Wall Street on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened.
"[The] stock market: a loser across the board. It was a loser early, it stayed a loser and became a bigger loser as the day went on," Dylan summed up Thursday's trading with that one statement, as AIG and Wal-mart lead the Dow's one-day, 225-point dive. A few lone tech stocks were the only winners in an otherwise distressed market. Adding to the bearish environment was the morning's new jobless claim numbers, the highest reported in several months.
Futures are down nearly 10 points, not surprising given AIG, a strange but generally disappointing retail sales report, and jobless claims higher than expected.
Economics will be a far more important subject than fashion for retailers this year as cash-strapped U.S. consumers do their back-to-school shopping over the next several weeks.
Retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores, are posting solid same-store sales growth in June, as expected, as seasonal weather and tax rebate checks helped get consumers to the store.
U.S. retailers, led by the discounters, are expected to post slightly better June same- store sales this week, thanks to seasonal weather and rebate checks that have made their way to cash registers, mostly for basic items such as gasoline and food.
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With the third quarter just around the corner, Morgan Keegan senior analyst Brad Stephens offered CNBC some ideas about buying retail stocks.
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Dow's CEO, Andrew Liveris, noted that first quarter feedstock and energy costs were up "a staggering 42 percent," putting strains on the company and its relations with customers. For most chemical companies, price increases have failed to keep up with raw material increases.
If energy and food prices continue to surge, consumers aren't going to be able to keep up, which would have a huge impact on the economy -- and stocks. Still, the market doesn't seem worried.
As expected, the ECB and the Bank of England left interest rates unchanged; the ECB at 4.0 percent. Futures dipped a bit at 8:50 am ET as Mr. Trichet began talking, giving his usual speech on the importance of combating inflation.
Ahead of same-store sales Thursday, we can’t help but wonder if those stimulus checks mean better times are on the horizon for retail?
Retail analysts had been expecting weak sales in March, but an early Easter holiday, chilly weather and recession-wary consumers combined to deliver March sales that were even drearier than expected.
March retail same store sales were weak, outside of discounters. Remember companies and analysts have been aggressively taking down first quarter estimates for over a month (as well as same store sales), but companies like JC Penney, Target, Gap, Abercrombie, and Kohls were all notably below expectations on same store sales.