US FINANCIAL MARKET
- U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, putting the Dow on track for a sixth straight day of gains, although trading was expected to be light following the Christmas holiday.
- UPS said poor weather and a high volume of holiday packages delayed the arrival of Christmas presents around the world. Amazon.com offered compensation to affected customers with shipping refunds and $20 gift cards. UPS projected 132 million deliveries last week “and obviously we exceeded that,” UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black said. UPS has fleet of 101,000 signature brown trucks, vans, tractor trailers and motorcycles.
- Retail sales for the week ended on Dec. 24 totaled $88 billion, up from $85 billion last year. That’s the single biggest retail sales week in history.
- U.S. online holiday retail sales were projected to climb 15 % to a record of more than $78 billion by Forrester Research in a report published last month.
- Target, the second-largest U.S. discount chain, faces almost two dozen lawsuits filed by customers after a computer security breach exposed data on 40 million debit and credit cards.
- Merck sued Actavis Plc’s Warner Chilcott unit seeking to block sales of a generic version of NuvaRing, a contraceptive with estimated annual sales of more than $664 million.
- Japan’s SoftBank is in talks to acquire U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US and is discussing funding for a deal with financial institutions. SoftBank is looking to have its recently acquired U.S. unit Sprint take a majority stake in T-Mobile from the latter’s parent Deutsche Telekom. The deal, which media reports have said would be valued at about $20 billion – in line with the $21.6 billion SoftBank paid for Sprint this summer.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Initial jobless claims dropped by 42,000 in the latest week, dropping to 338,000. Analysts had expected 345,000.
- The four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, increased 4,250 to 348,000.
EUROPE & WORLD
- Volkswagen is poised to sell more vehicles in China than General Motors for the first time in nine years. Both companies have surpassed their targets to deliver more than 3 million vehicles in China this year.
- China estimates that growth slowed to 7.6 % this year. A 7.6 % pace would mark a third straight annual drop in the expansion rate. Twenty-seven Chinese provinces and cities raised the minimum wage in 2013 by an average of 17 %.
- Ukraine expects to receive the remaining $12 billion in a Russia bailout deal early next year to help boost its economy. Ukraine’s central bank has already received the first $3 billion from selling bonds to Russia.
- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tapped loyalists to rebuild his cabinet and fight a deepening corruption scandal. Erdogan replaced 10 ministers in his 26-member cabinet.
TODAY in HISTORY
- George Washington defeated the Hessians at Trenton (1776)
- James H. Nason received a patent for a coffee percolator (1865)
Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.