Your Thursday Market Blip 12/3/15

Your Thursday Market Blip 12/3/15

Good news turned into bad news for markets as strength in US labor reports increased the odds of a rate hike sending traders to the sidelines. The Dow fell 251 points on heavy trade to close at 17,477. The Dow is still in a tight trading range after failing to break above 18,000.
While the US is looking to raise interest rates the ECB announced it will keep rates low and buy $60 plus billion in bonds per month thru March of 2017! That’s a lot of bratwurst! Lackluster growth continues to plague the EU and this latest money printing binge is an attempt to wake up the economy.
Online retail shopping so far this holiday season has been robust. Analytics firm Slice Intelligence reported that so far, 35.7% of e-commerce spending was done via Amazon with Best Buy filling the number 2 spot at 8.2% followed by Macy’s at 3.4% and Wal-Mart at 3.3%. Cyber Monday sales were up 21% from last year and were estimated at $3.12 billion.
Zillow reported that of all US home mortgage holders, 13.4% are still underwater. This was down from 16.9% a year ago but still well above the long term average of 5%. The declining number of underwater homes is due to a stronger economy and tight inventory pushing prices up. Zillow estimates that October home prices were up 6.8% from 2014 levels.
Kroger Grocery Stores reported earnings that were above estimates as net income grew 23%. The company had a slight gain in overall revenue of about a half point but comp store sales were up 5.4% and forward guidance was increased as management is confident that its current strategy in an improving economy coupled with the buyout of Midwest grocery chain Roundy’s will add to the bottom line.