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  • Patty Edwards of Trutina has spotted some curious insider selling at the Gap.

  • Liz Claiborne drew upside options for the second day in a row as the apparel retailer followed the rest of the sector higher this holiday shopping season.

  • Stocks traded mixed ahead in lackluster trading, although the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit new two-year highs on thin gains amid a lack of economic news. Alcoa and 3M rose, while American Express fell.

  • Stocks traded narrowly mixed amid thin trading and a lack of economic news as stocks struggled to move beyond recent highs. 3M  and Alcoa rose, while AmEx fell.

  • Though this is traditionally a slow week, there are several underlying trends to the market.

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    Cash registers are continuing to ring up big sales in the final days before Christmas, easing fears of a front-loaded holiday season.

  • Stocks slumped after opening higher as the dollar rose, but trading was light at the start of a holiday week. AmEx and Boeing sank, while BofA rose.

  • Blogger

    This holiday season, online sales are zooming, even as online retailers offer fewer discounts and turn picky about who shops at their sites. The New York Times reports.

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    Last-minute shoppers rejoice, you now have a shopping day all your own. A group of retailers and restaurant chains have banned together to declare Dec. 23 "Click It to Gift It" day. The event will allow shoppers to buy egift cards and receive a variety of special incentives ranging from free gifts to special discounts to charitable donations.

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    Fourth-quarter earnings per share could be artificially boosted by stock buybacks for the first time since 2007, Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard & Poor’s told CNBC.com.

  • Brian Sozzi

    He's got his list. And, he's checking it twice. He's not Santa. He's not on a buying spree. Wall Street Strategies Retail Analyst Brian Sozzi has been surfing the malls in and around the New York City metropolitan area. Sozzi, who is rated five stars by Starmine for accuracy, has been doing this every weekend this season.

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    Critics say more studies are needed on the effects of formaldehyde in textiles, including a closer look at the effects of cumulative exposure, the New York Times reports.

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    Retailers are adding features like aromas, photos and recorded messages to make gift cards more attractive.

  • Americans may be rare in Iran, but American products find their way into the country, despite international sanctions, through a tiny Iranian resort island called Kish.

  • Groupon.com

    Even if Google doesn't buy Groupon, the talk of a potential multi-billion dollar deal has created buzz for both the group buying site and its rivals. While Groupon and rival LivingSocial are by far the most popular in the emerging space, they aren't alone, and some suspect other sites such as SocialBuy, Tippr, and BuyWithMe could also be ripe for a takeover.

  • Stocks rallied for second consecutive day following upbeat economic reports that revived hopes of a stronger U.S. economy and news the European Central Bank was buying euro zone debt. Home Depot and Alcoa rose, while Kraft fell.

  • Stocks continued their December rally Thursday, led by banks and homebuilders, following a handful of positive economic reports that revived hopes of a stronger U.S. economy and news the European Central Bank was buying euro zone debt.  Home Depot and Alcoa rose, while Cisco fell.

  • Stocks gained after a surprisingly upbeat report from the housing market and as a stream of stronger-than-expected retail sales reports signaled a bright start to the holiday season. Bank of America and Home Depot rose.

  • Christmas shoppers attend the Galeria Kaufhof warehouse in Munich, Germany.

    November's monthly sales reports showed there were plenty of reasons for retailers to be merry as the critical holiday shopping season got underway.

  • S&P futures had dropped a point or so as initial jobless claims for the week came in a bit heavier than expectations, 436,000 vs. 422,000 consensus. Prior week was revised upward to 410,000, from 407,000. Also: good news, nad news for retail.