Street Signs

CNBC's Schacknow: Our Day As Stocks Fall


The holiday spirit may have been evident for those storming retail outlets over the weekend--but the same is decidedly NOT true for stocks. They are suffering through their worst day in at least 4 and 1/2 months.

That's kept the breaking news desk busy digging through our spreadsheets to find out all those "worst since" factoids to keep viewers informed if not entertained. Wal-Mart's first monthly sales slump in 10 years and a falling dollar get much of the blame, but as portfolio manager Gina Sanchez pointed out on Power Lunch (12:23pm), the market is already "priced to perfection" after the runup of the past few months.

Ironically--on a day when as many as 28 of the 30 Dow stocks were down at any given time, breaking news involving Dow component Altria was actually positive - as the Supreme Court decided not to review an appeals court ruling that set aside a $10.1 billion dollar judgment against Altria.

Market reporter Bob Pisani explained how that was impacting the stock (12:04pm). This particular case involved Altria's advertising of so-called "light" cigarettes.  Two easy rules of thumb involving Altria court case stories:

1)You know it's important enough to impact the markets and

2)Altria is in the midst of enough court cases so that you'll often be baffled as to which one is involved. 

And not quite "Bah Humbug" but perhaps "Ho Humbug"--the results of an exclusive CNBC Holiday Central Survey--as reported by Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman (Power Lunch 1pm). Americans are willing enough to spend - but a majority in our survey say they're not going to spend any more than last year.

Check with us again in a few weeks to see if what they say turns out to be different than what they do. Say--is that a Sony PS3 hidden behind those teddy bears?