Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


While you were sleeping: US holiday sales disappoint

While you were sleeping: US holiday sales disappoint

Dec 27 (BusinessDesk) – Shares of retailers including Sears and Saks led Wall Street lower as shoppers kept a lid on spending amid concern about the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff as the year-end deadline draws ever closer.

A measure of American holiday sales showed consumers are reluctant to take advantage of the holiday sales. Data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse showed that holiday-related sales increased a meagre 0.7 percent from October 28 through December 24, down from the 2 percent climb in 2011.

The Morgan Stanley retail index was last 2.1 percent weaker. Shares of Sears were down 3.6 percent, while those of Saks were 3.3 percent lower.

President Barack Obama is set to return to Washington early Thursday as he attempts to forge an agreement between Democrats and Republicans to prevent about US$600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect on January 1.

“The finance centre is still Washington right now,” Scott Armiger, a money manager at Christiana Trust in Greenville, Delaware, told Bloomberg News. “With the fiscal cliff, the questions are how bad will the deal be or will they just extend it and let the new Congress address it?”

In afternoon trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.24 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 0.61 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.68 percent. US stock markets were closed for the Christmas holiday yesterday.

Even so, further evidence of a sustained rebound in the American real estate market came in the form of data showing a better-than-expected increase in home prices in October. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 metropolitan areas rose 4.3 percent from October 2011. That was the largest 12-month increase since May 2010.

"It is clear that the housing recovery is gathering strength," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's, said in a statement.

Markets in Europe were closed for the Boxing Day holiday.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news