Courtney Raio is a Managing Director for NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX).
Markets spent the entire day in positive territory, closing off their highs, as hopes for new plans to resolve the European debt crisis buoyed the markets both abroad and in the U.S. President Obama said that the European debt crisis is a "huge issue" and the U.S. is willing to provide help. During comments today, President Obama urged the European officials to solve their financial problems, contending that they have the tools to do so and only need the political pressure to implement a successful plan. He is concerned that the problems threaten the U.S. as well, and he needs to ensure that does not happen – particularly as he heads into a re-election year.
Germany and France continue to push for powers to control euro zone budgets that do not conform with the region’s rules.
Markets were also supported by positive Black Friday and optimistic Cyber-Monday results after U.S. retailers reported a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4% increase from a year ago, as early hours, attractive promotions and generally mild weather brought out more shoppers.
Santa Clause rally?....there is still some concern over the conviction in this rally despite a positive earnings season, strong cash on the books and hopeful retail results.
After-hours, Fitch reaffirmed the AAA rating for the U.S. but the outlook changes to negative.
Today was the best day in two weeks for Dow and the best day in a month for the S&P and the Nasdaq
Companies in the News:
Fluor Corporation rose $2.84/5.7% to $52.35 on a RW Baird upgrade, raising the company to “outperform” from “neutral” and maintaining its $70 price target. RW Baird cites positive future earnings potential and a valuation disconnect as reasons for the upgrade.
Commercial Metals closed up $2.72/23.8% at $14.17 after Carl Icahn announced that he is offering to purchase the shares he does not already own (~90%) for $15.00 per share, valuing the company at $1.73 bil.
Amazon soared on strong, early Cyber Monday traffic thanks to increased bargains as well as positive Kindle sales. AMZN closed up $11.77/+6.5% to $194.15
Some of the retailers in focus today were WalMart (+$0.36/+0.63% to $57.25), Target (+$0.42/+0.82% to $51.63), Macy’s (+$1.39/+4.7% to $30.84), BestBuy (+$0.86/+3.36% to $26.49), Tiffany (+$4.12/+5.9% to $73.62) and Coach (+$3.88/+6.7% to $62.13).
Despite a Jeffries price target decrease, Anadarko Petroleum ended the day up $3.93/+5.5% at $75.77 after reporting that its major gas finds offshore Mozambique were actually twice as large as it earlier thought.
Economic Reports: S&P Case-Shiller home price index at 9:00 a.m.; consumer confidence and FHFA home price index at 10:00 a.m. Earnings from Tiffany