Target will hire 70,000 seasonal workers this holiday, Wal-Mart 60,000 and J.C. Penney 35,000.» Read More
Stocks ended a mundane week mixed, despite modest gains Friday fueled by plunging oil prices that nevertheless couldn't offset a cautionary trading environment.
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J.C. Penney said on Friday quarterly profit fell 36 percent and forecast earnings for the current quarter below Wall Street expectations, hurt by cutbacks in consumer spending.
Wall Street shook off more signs of consumer weakness and instead focused on plunging oil prices, sending stocks up as financials continued to gain.
Yesterday it was Europe announcing weak economic growth, today it is Hong Kong, where Q2 GDP fell by 1.4 percent quarter-over-quarter. Year-over-year, GDP rose 4.2%, the slowest gain since Q3 2003. Higher costs from China, as well as weaker demand, was the culprit.
It's hard to see Friday's markets as anything but volatile after this past week's wild swings. But if there are no out of the ordinary events, traders say the stock market just might quiet down late in the session as investors head off for one of the final weekends of the summer.
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Stocks could sprint higher into the coming week, as a strengthening dollar and declining commodities prices encourage buyers hoping for a reprieve from inflation.
Stocks rallied Friday as a more than $4 a barrel drop in oil prices offset the drag of Fannie Mae's earnings miss. It's going to be the same story next week: Energy prices. Even if there are disappointments in CPI or Wal-Mart's earnings, investors are expected to overlook them as the drop in gas prices puts more money in consumers' pockets.
All major U.S. Indices ended the week in positive territory, led by a 4.46% gain in the NASDAQ Composite Index. Commodity prices continued to fall broadly across the board, with oil prices tumbling $9.90 this week.
"[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.
Stocks ended near session lows as oil ended above $120 a barrel and two Dow components missed the Street's targets.
Stocks pared some losses Thursday afternoon as oil prices flattened out. Putting pressure on stocks today was a quartet of dismal news: a rise in jobless claims, oil's resurgence, Wal-Mart's sales miss and AIG's wider-than-expected loss.
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Stocks opened lower, clipped by a quartet of dismal news: a rise in jobless claims, oil's resurgence, Wal-Mart's sales miss and AIG's wider-than-expected loss. But a better-than-expected report on home sales helped shave a few points off the decline.
Early July sales results from retailers have been disappointing, with many falling short of analyst estimates. It also appears that the benefit from tax rebate checks is beginning to wane.
Futures are down nearly 10 points, not surprising given AIG, a strange but generally disappointing retail sales report, and jobless claims higher than expected.
Investors will get a glimpse of how much cash-strapped consumers are willing to spend in the key back-to-school shopping season when major U.S. retail chains release July sales results Thursday.
Following are the day’s biggest winners and losers. Find out why shares of SunPower and Davita popped while Marriot and J.C. Penney dropped.