Friday, November 28, 2014

Stock markets did little while oil plunged 10%

Dow rose pocket change, good enough to set a new record, decliners ahead of advancers 3-2 & NAZ added 4.  The MLP sank 27 to 487, a new record for a decline in one day, & the REIT index went up fractionally to 225.  Junk bond funds were down a few pennies & Treasuries rallied with all the confusion about lower oil prices.  Oil had one of its worst days in history, dropping to the 66s, & gold also had a steep decline.

AMJ (Alerian MLP Index tracking fund)

CLG15.NYMCrude Oil Feb 1566.26 Down 7.50 (10.2%)

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Photo:    Bloomberg

US holiday shopping kicked off earlier than ever this year, leaving some customers who didn’t want to skip out on their Thanksgiving celebrations without the bargains they were seeking.  140M Americans, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), are expected to hit the stores or shop online by Sun.  The shopping rush kicks off a holiday season that the NRF forecasts will be the best in 3 years, helped by falling unemployment, rising wages & lower gas prices.  Many consumers already may have begun shopping earlier this week as retailers experimented with spreading their deals over a longer period.  While about the same number of people as last year were expected to shop yesterday through Sun, they are projected to spend more, according to the NRF.  Retail sales in Nov & Dec may rise 4.1% this year, beating last year’s 3.1% gain.  More of those purchases may take place online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores.  Shoppers plan to do 44% of their gift buying online, the highest percentage ever, the NRF said last month.  Thanksgiving Day online sales gained 14% from a year earlier, International Business Machines (IBM) said.

Holiday Deal Hunt Draws Millions to Stores Across U.S.

Procter & Gamble, a Dow stock & Dividend Aristocrat, rose after it was reported that the company was exploring a sale of its Wella hair-care business.  A potential sale of the Wella unit may be worth $7B.  Wella includes a professional business in addition to consumer products.  PG announced a plan in Aug to divest 80-100 product lines, accounting for about 10% of its revenue, & already has sold its pet-food businesses to Mars & Spectrum Brands (SPB).  The company earlier this month said it would sell the Duracell battery brand to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) for $4.7B in stock.  The stock rose 1.55.  If you would like to learn more about PG, click on this link:

P&G Rises After Report It’s Exploring Sale of Wella Unit

Procter & Gamble (PB)

There was little movement today except for oil related issues.  Airlines benefit from lower oil prices so they soared.  But energy stocks dropped big time.  The 2 energy stocks in the Dow, which are also Dividend Aristocrats, Exxon (XOM) & Chevron (CVX), were down $4 & $6 respectively.  While lower energy prices are generally welcomed by many businesses, they are unsettling for the business world.  These issues will see more selling next week.

Dow Jones Industrials

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