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For the week ending Friday, September 5, 2008, the U.S. markets ended in negative territory for the week after weak employment data and declines in auto and retail sales pointed to weaker consumer spending and a greater economic slowdown. The unemployment rate jumped to a 5-year high, soaring to 6.1%. On Thursday, the three major Indices fell back into bear market territory by dropping 20% from their market peaks set last fall. Both the Dow & Nasdaq Composite had their worst daily closes since July 26, with drops of more than 340 points for the Dow and 75 points for the Nasdaq.
Investors sent The Dow and the overall stock market sharply lower on Thursday amid signs that the economic slowdown is showing no sign of improvement.
Yesterday, Kohl's and JC Penney reported August same store sales slightly better than expected. Today Wal-Mart, Target, Gap, American Eagle (reaffirms third quarter guidance), Pacific Sunwear all reported sales above expectations. However, department stores did not fare as well.
Stocks ended a mundane week mixed, despite modest gains Friday fueled by plunging oil prices that nevertheless couldn't offset a cautionary trading environment.
Q: On Fast Money’s trader radar we look at the stock that was lighting up screens across Wall Street. This department store chain uses a ticker symbol after its founder, John W., a Swedish immigrant with an affinity for shoes. The retailer’s now better-known for its unrivaled level of customer service. But it couldn’t help letting down some of its shareholders today, after reporting smaller profits and lowering its full-year forecast. Who is it???
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.
Stocks rose on Thursday as another decline in the price of oil buoyed hopes that consumer spending will recover. Also financial shares bounced back from a sharp two-day sell-off.
It didn't start out promising: CPI stronger than expected, jobless claims stronger than expected, but the market rallied quickly as bulls argued that inflation was peaking, that the U.S. is further along this weak economic cycle than anywhere else in the world, and the dollar rally would be helpful as well.
Brace yourself. Here come the retailers' earnings. With back-to-school sales reportedly lackluster this year, who looks good to the people who look at retail stocks?
Medal Round - Day 2: The US continues to outperform, but India's Sensex has surged forward to second place.
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Jon Hilsenrath, money and investing news editor at The Wall Street Journal, offered CNBC his weekly "Five for Five": the five stocks investors must watch this week.
Stocks could sprint higher into the coming week, as a strengthening dollar and declining commodities prices encourage buyers hoping for a reprieve from inflation.
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.
Two pieces of positive news this morning: 1) Wal-Mart sales better than expected and raising guidance, and 2) Dow Chemicalspacer buying Rohm and Haas. Jobless claims lower than expected is also a help.
Two weeks ago, I said I haven't seen the Street so bearish since just after 9/11. This morning Investors Intelligence reported that their Bull/Bear survey of financial newsletter writers fell to 27.4 percent bullish, the lowest reading since July 1994. Bears rose to 47.3 percent, the highest since 1995.
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.
By anyone's reckoning, it was a rough week. Crude oil continued its relentless climb; banks and brokerages gave hints of more discouraging news; government data pointed to a weak economy; even strong companies like Nike, Oracle, and Research In Motion issued cautious guidance; and Federal Reserve policymakers, widely perceived as powerless to help, left interest rates unchanged. But all week, even through the worst of the market's sell-offs, CNBC guests offered
To give investors an edge, CNBC asked the experts for their best trades now.