The Dow pulled back 54 points today to close at 19,097 on heavier trading volume. This is the first significant “pause” since the election.
Matt “The Rat” Shay, head of the NRF or National Retail Federation, said that Black Friday shopping was strong. The number of shoppers grew from 151 million in 2015 to 154 million this year reflecting a 4.2% increase in online shopping and a 3.7% drop in the brick and mortar, “duke it out” style of in-store shopping. Average spending per person fell 3% to $289.19. The bottom line is that online shopping continues to grow while in-store shopping fades a bit.
Package delivery giant UPS said black Friday shipping demand met expectations and the company expects 14% growth in package delivery this year betwixt turkey day and Christmas. CEO David Abney said they will deliver north of 700 million packages during the holiday season.
Oil prices continue to trade with trepidation ahead of the OPEC meeting on Wednesday. Word on the street is the deal is in trouble even though some are trying to put a happy face on it. WTI crude gained 1.8% to close near $46.94 per barrel. Gold rallied a bit today gaining $14 an ounce to $1,192. Next week’s referendum election in Italy is lagging in the polls and a London Times article on the subject said that should the vote fail and should PM Renzi step down there is a chance that up to 8 midsized banks in Italy could fail which might trigger a “bail-in” hitting small businesses in Italy particularly hard. This news item will be watched by yours truly since it could spell trouble for the future of the EU.
On that happy note…..have a good evening.