This fifty first week of 2012 comes to a close with investors fretting that a fall off the cliff is becoming a more likely possibility.
Hi. I'm Kristin Bianco. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for December 21, 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were higher for the week.
Crude oil futures are higher this week, trading around $88.72 per barrel on Friday afternoon.
Gold futures are lower this week, trading at $1656.98 an ounce in afternoon trading.
In notable economic news this week, the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments rose for the first time in five weeks. According to the Labor Department, applications for jobless benefits increased by 17,000 to 361,000 for the week ended December 15. Economists had forecast 360,000 claims. According to Commerce Department, GDP figures showed that the U.S. economy grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter, up from earlier estimates of 2.7% and 2%.
In corporate news this week, investment bank Jefferies (JEF) announced that it earned a higher profit during the fiscal fourth quarter, bolstered by its fixed income unit. The company earned $72 million, or 31 cents per share during the quarter, versus $48 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same period last year.
Nucor (NYSE:NUE) announced that it was lowering earnings expectations to between 25 and 30 cents per share, down from the 35 cents per share in the third quarter and 43 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2011.
General Mills (NYSE:GIS) announced that it earned $541.6 million, or 82 cents a share, up from $444.8 million, or 67 cents a share, in the same period last year. Excluding mark-to-market effects, the company earned 86 cents per share. Revenue increased by 5.6% to $4.88 billion.
CarMax (NYSE:KMX) announced third quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates on Thursday. Earnings per share are the used car company increased by 14% to 41 cents, or $345.2 million, beating estimates by 2 cents. Revenue increased by 15% to $2.6 billion, beating estimates of $2.47 billion. Auto sales last month were up 5.4% versus the same month last year.
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) announced that profit for the fiscal first quarter fell to $413 million, or 43 cents per share, from $554 million, or 63 cents per share, versus the same period last year. Revenue fell by 4.6% to $17.32 billion from $18.16 billion. Brand-to-generic prescription conversions led to $883 million lower sales. Analysts had expected the company to earn 70 cents a share on sales of $17.43 billion.
This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday December 21, 2012. Please join us on Monday for the 'Week Ahead Market Report.
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