This forty-ninth trading week of 2013 comes to a close with investors focusing on the Federal Reserves' next move. While positive labor news will boost the US economy, too much growth could prompt the Fed to raise interest rates sooner.
Hi. I'm Sayoko Murase. Welcome to the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for December 6, 2013.
The major US markets are trading in mixed fashion this week, with the Dow Jones Industrial average lower, the S&P 500 flat and the Nasdaq modestly higher.
Crude oil futures are higher this week, trading below $97.50 per barrel on Friday afternoon.
And Gold futures are lower this week, trading around $1,230 an ounce in Friday afternoon trading.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported that November payrolls increased by 203,000 jobs, easily topping the 188,000 new jobs Wall Street had expected. In the report, the Labor Department noted that the unemployment rate declined to 7%, also better than economists had been expecting.
In corporate news, Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) reported sales at stores open at least a year in China grew by only 1% in November, disappointing many investors. The company ran aggressive promotions in the first half of November, including half-price chicken at KFC locations, but once the promotions ended, the company saw sales decrease.
JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) reported sales at stores open at least a year climbed by 10.1% in the month of November, marking a strong start to the holiday season for the beleaguered retailer. In the report, JC Penney noted that sales were improving as the result of both better merchandise options for consumers and more aggressive promotions.
Kroger (NYSE:KR) reported third quarter earnings of $299 million, or 57 cents per share, as revenue rose by 3% to $22.5 billion. Excluding one-time items, the company would have earned 53 cents per share, matching Wall Street estimates.
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it would spin off Lands' End from the rest of the company in an effort to unlock value for shareholders. The company said in October that it was considering separating both Lands' End and Sears Auto Center, but this week's announcement was limited to just the clothing retailer.
This is the 'Weekly Market Wrap' for Friday December 6, 2013. Please join us on Monday for the Week Ahead Market Report.
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