Today is Black Friday, filling the gap between Thanksgiving and the weekend – for many people a 4-day weekend. More Stores have specials (e.g. Wal-Mart has TVs under $100), some have free delivery, etc.
Unfortunately cheap deals and excitement have led to in-store violence, including shootings, fights, etc. And for some, discounted prices aren’t cheap enough, with some shoplifters taking advantage of the rush. Going further, one shopper was robbed of his TV as he left the store. More
Lloyd says: There was even a bomb threat in a Wal-Mart store in as suburban a place as White Plains NY, where Warren Buffett, Percy Grainger, Mark Zuckerberg, and I lived for a while.
“The holiday season technically starts today with Black Friday. With consumer confidence at the level it’s at now and the market at the level it’s at now, you would expect to see retail sales up 6 or 7 percent from last year, which would be a boon for a lot of retailers.”
Tom Stringfellow, President and Chief Investment Officer, Frost Investment Advisors LLC ($9.3bn) More
Whilst Friday is the official start of the Christmas shopping season, some stores have been moving the start date to Thanksgiving More Macy’s, for example, opened at 8pm on Thanksgiving.
This weekend is followed by Cyber Monday, the online retail day of specials, and often free delivery.
Stock market indices
Black Friday is a short trading day – NYSE and NASDAQ closed at 1pm ET, however after hours trading continued. Our numbers are as of 1pm ET.
“The general mood is that we’re going to have growth this year in terms of holiday season shopping, though probably less than before the crisis. There is an expectation in the market that it has started out on a positive note, so I do think that is definitely driving thoughts today in the marketplace.”
Aaron Izenstark, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Iron Financial LLC’s Iron Strategic Income Fund More
||31 Dec 12
While our USD index is showing a modest gain of 14.62% YTD, our AUD index has now pushed through 30% to 30.72% YTD. Not a great performance compared to the US market, but OK.
||31 Dec 12
|Portfolio Index (USD)
|Valuation Rate: USD/AUD
|Portfolio Index (AUD)
Portfolio stock news
Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports that Apple accounted for 76% of smartphone sales in Japan in Oct 2013 after NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest carrier, began offering the iPhone. More
Portfolio stock prices
“It’s almost as if people are rotating into the bigger blue-chip names, especially the technology big caps. We wouldn’t be shocked at all to see the small and mid-cap names lag a little bit.”
Ryan Detrick, Senior Technical Strategist, Schaeffer’s Investment Research More
Amazon rose 1.79% to a new record high of $393.62.
||31 Dec 12
BY THE WAY
“Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its closest approach to the sun.
As ISON appeared to dim and fizzle in several observatories and later could not be seen at all by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory or by ground based solar observatories, many scientists believed it had disintegrated completely. However, a streak of bright material streaming away from the sun appeared in the European Space Agency and NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory later in the evening. The question remains whether it is merely debris from the comet, or if some portion of the comet’s nucleus survived, but late-night analysis from scientists with NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign suggest that there is at least a small nucleus intact.”
NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), 29 NOV 2013 More Video
It appears that ISON has been reduced to cosmic dust after its sun-grazing experience on Thanksgiving. More
Remnants of Comet ISON leaving the Sun (Pic: NASA SPHP)