Nasdaq Cancels Premarket Trades|
In a system status message on the Nasdaq web site Thursday at 10:59:39, the
exchange said it will be canceling all premarket trades greater than 10% away
from the prior day’s consolidated closing price between 9:29:00 and 9:29.59
Eastern time for the following big cap companies: AT&T Inc. (T:NYSE) trades at
or below $31.04; Citigroup Inc. (C:NYSE) trades at or below $33.77; Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. (GS:NYSE) at or below $106.28; Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ:NYSE)
trades at or below $13.07; Kroger Co. (KR:NYSE) trades at or below $23.93;
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S:NYSE) at or below $5.09; Ventas Inc. (VTR:NYSE) trades or
above $71.58; Wells Fargo & Company (WFC:NYSE) trades at or below $30.15;
Western Union (WU:NYSE) trades at or below $11.90. Per Nasdaq, this decision
cannot be appealed.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are due to meet at the
White House at 5:00 pm Eastern Time to discuss the fiscal cliff. In a daily
White House briefing, press secretary Jay Carney said, “The parameters of an
agreement are clear, they are not that complicated...and we look forward to the
time when Republicans acknowledge that revenues not only have to be a part of
the equation, but that rates on top earners have to go up as part of the revenue
equation. When that happens, we believe we can reach a deal fairly quickly.”
Carney also referred to Republican opposition to higher taxes on the wealthiest
2% as the single obstacle holding up a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. “Rates on
top earners have to go up as part of the revenue equation. When that happens, we
believe we can reach a deal fairly quickly,” Carney said. Politicians continue
to bicker, in public, over their difficulties in reaching a deal to avoid
recession-inducing spending cuts and tax hikes at the start of the new year. As
Boehner pressed the White House Thursday for spending-cut proposals, Wall Street
reacted with stocks retreating to the downside. Boehner blasted the President
and Democrats for looking to “punish small businesses” with higher tax rates.
When a question was addressed to Boehner about whether he would permit a Senate
bill that would extend current levels of taxation for 98% of Americans to get to
the floor, he quickly sidestepped the question.
Richard Schulze, founder and former chairman of Best Buy (BBY:NYSE), is expected
to make yet another bid for the stumbling electronics retailer. At the close of
the trading session on Thursday, shares were sharply higher by 16%, on the news.
Reportedly, Schulze has secured agreements to finance the deal from bankers and
private-equity firms including Cerberus, Leonard Green & Partners and Texas
Pacific Group. Schulze is also expected to meet with his top advisers, including
former top Best Buy executives Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier. His original
offer was nearly $8 billion however the new offer is expected to be
substantially lower between $5 billion to $6 billion.
In a statement on Thursday, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank,
the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Swiss National Bank moved to
extend an existing temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangement for another
year through February 1, 2014. The arrangement would have expired on February 1,
2013, without the action. Temporary bilateral liquidity arrangements that would
allow the banks to provide liquidity in any currency if needed will also be
extended. At its next monetary policy meeting per the statement, the Bank of
Japan will consider an extension of both arrangements. Under the program, the
Fed lends dollars to other central banks in return for their currencies. The
foreign central banks then use auctions to lend dollars to financial
institutions under their jurisdiction.
The Labor Department reported on Thursday that U.S. producer prices fell a
seasonally adjusted 0.8% in November, mostly because of lower energy costs. Core
producer prices edged up 0.1% last month when excluding volatile categories of
food and energy. The biggest one-month decline since March 2009 was seen in
energy prices which sank 4.6% while the wholesale cost of food rose 1.3%. Over
the past year wholesale prices have risen an unadjusted 1.5% or by a larger 2.2%
excluding food and energy.
The U.S. Labor Department announced on Thursday that new applications for U.S.
unemployment benefits fell by 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 in the
week ended December 8, putting initial jobless claims at the second lowest level
for 2012. From two weeks ago and based on more complete data collected at the
state level, initial jobless claims were revised up to 372,000 from an original
reading of 370,000. Initial jobless Claims are near their lowest point in almost
four years and now are below pre-Sandy levels. Over the past month, the average
of new jobless claims sank by 27,000 to 381,500. In the weekly data, the
four-week average reduces seasonal volatility and is seen as a more accurate
barometer of labor-market trends. Continuing claims by the Labor Department
decreased by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.2 million in the week ended
The U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday that U.S. retail sales climbed a
seasonally adjusted 0.3% during November, mostly attributed to strong demand for
autos and a variety of other goods. Sales remained flat when excluding autos
which can have an outsized impact on the report, as sharply lower purchases of
gasoline offset increased sales of other retail goods. Online retailers as well
as stores that sell appliances, building materials, clothing, electronics, home
furnishings, leisurely goods, meals and liquor, over-the-counter medicine and
personal-care and sports products all experienced a rise in sales. As the cost
of fuel dropped again in November, sales fell 4.0% at gas stations which was a
good not for consumers. During November, retail sales jumped a solid 0.7%,
excluding gas and autos. Over the past 12 months, U.S. retail sales have risen
3.7%. Sales remained unrevised at a 0.3% decline during October, while the
increase in September sales were revised down a notch to 1.2%.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Thursday that business inventories rose
a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in October to $1.62 trillion. Business inventories
are up 5.7% from October 2011 levels. Higher inventories can be good for the
economy, if they represent firms stocking up in anticipation of future demand,
but they can also reflect items not sold.
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