Bob Pisani is off, this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.
Markets overseas fell in Thursday trading, with China’s Shanghai Composite falling nearly 2 percent for its biggest drop in nearly 2 weeks. This came as China’s central bank made a surprising short-term tightening move by raising rates on its 3-month bills for the first time in over 4 months.
While stock futures moved little following this morning’s slightly better-than-expected weekly jobless claims report, stocks opened slightly lower, as commodity stocks paced the decline following the news in China.
After a poor start to Q4 – with disappointing October and November sales – retailers are turning in strong December sales reports. Boosted by solid holiday spending, most retailers topped analysts’ same-store sales forecasts, citing improved traffic throughout the month.
Another trend this morning: after proceeding with much caution earlier in the quarter, a broad range of retailers have boosted earnings guidance as a result of the stronger December sales and significant improvement margins. Among the names: Limited, TJX, Aeropostale, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s.