Your Monday Market Blip 12/28/15

Your Monday Market Blip 12/28/15

Stocks continue to limp along heading into the end of the year. The Dow overcame an early 100 point selloff to rebound and close down only 24 points at 17,528. Trading volume was lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon rut.
Early reports indicate that Christmas holiday sales were good. Amazon reported that 3 million people signed up as prime members during the third week of December alone. Amazon is benefiting from the online shopping movement in a big way. The company also said 70% of its holiday orders came via mobile platforms. The other human trait that is benefiting Amazon is procrastination. People are busy and/or put things off and then at the last minute they jump on the web and buy gifts with two day delivery. The “buy online” trend also benefitted logistics companies like UPS, FedEx and the US Postal Service. “Porch Pirates” are an unfortunate part of the trend and police are now setting up sting operations to catch those stealing packages after they are dropped off. MasterCard indicated that holiday sales transactions were up over 7% from last year.
Crude oil prices fell pressured by weak Japanese oil consumption data and renewed worries about oversupply. The price weakness gravitated to US gasoline and heating oil as gasoline fell 3% and heating oil was down 1%. The data from Japan, which is the fourth largest crude buyer, showed oil purchases at a 46 year low. Meanwhile OPEC now estimates an oil glut of about 2 million barrels per day. At the close the price of WTI crude was $36.72 down 3.6%.