Our sincere, deepest heartfelt sympathy is extended to the families and
residents in Newtown Connecticut, amidst the horrific, unthinkable shooting
tragedy Friday, at Sandy Hook Elementary school, leaving 26 people dead,
including 18 children. The shooter, a 20 year old coward male, reportedly
wearing a mask, had at least two nine-millimeter handguns found near his body
and it was unclear if the shooter shot himself or was killed by police. Newtown
Connecticut is located 90 minutes outside of New York City. Early reports
indicated a possible additional, shooter was in custody. It is impossible to
understand the thoughts behind such a heinous act, against such young, innocent
The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. consumer prices declined a seasonally
adjusted 0.3% in November, mainly because of falling gasoline costs. Core prices
rose 0.1% and exclude the volatile food and energy categories. Per Labor
Department, the energy index dropped 4.1% and food prices rose 0.2%. Consumer
prices have reportedly risen an unadjusted 1.8% over the past 12 months, or by a
similar 1.9% on a core basis which is within the Federal Reserve's inflation
target. Real or inflation-adjusted hourly wages jumped 0.5% last month to post
the biggest increase in four years. Real wages have remained flat over the past
12 months, meaning the average worker has seen no increase in his purchasing
The Federal Reserve said Friday that the output of the nation's factories, mines
and utilities rose 1.1% in November, by the fastest pace in two years.
Production in October was revised lower to a 0.7% drop from initial estimate of
a 0.4% decline.
Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW:NYSE) shares led decliners Friday morning, shedding
2% of share price after reporting a drop by 2% in customer trading activity
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB:NYSE) shares were lower by 6% into late morning trading
on Friday after warning of weaker, Q4 results. The oil-field services company
said it expects a hit in profits from 5 to 7 cents per share due to delays in
international markets and a slowdown in drilling activity in North America.
Best Buy Co. (BBY:NYSE) shares were lower by 16% into late morning trading on
Friday after the electronics retailer and founder Richard Schulze reportedly
agreed to amend terms of their August 26 agreement that allow Schulze access to
the company's books to conduct due diligence. From the time period on or after
February 1 and through February 28, Schulze will have to deliver his proposal
and within 30 days thereafter, Best Buy board must review and take a position on
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