Stocks Trading in Negative Territory; Retail Dragged Lower on Most Important Shopping Day of the Year
The major U.S. Indexes are trading broadly lower as retailers look toward a holiday sales as Black Friday--the start of the holiday shopping season--hits high gear. Most retail stocks followed the market lower on lingering worries about the situation on the Korean peninsula and concern that the European debt situation will worsen.
Among large retail stocks, Wal-Mart ( WMT ), Target ( TGT ) and Amazon.com ( AMZN ) are trading lower. Macy's ( M ) managed to buck the trend and move higher during the shortened regular session. Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said in a television interview this morning that the chain store is carrying inventories 1%-2% above year-ago levels.
Meanwhile, stocks elsewhere around the globe fell after North Korea said that "escalated confrontation" would lead to war, according to a Bloomberg report.
Also, ADRs of Irish banks Allied Irish Bank ( AIB ) and Bank of Ireland (IRE) are off session lows but still in negative territory on expectations that the banks are heading toward greater state ownership, AP reports. There is deep skepticism that an international bailout loan -- whose details are expected to be unveiled Sunday -- will be enough for Ireland to resolve its debts, the story said.
In other company news, Genzyme (GENZ) reportedly has drawn up a host of poison pill possibilities while making no decision on whether to use them, according to a Bloomberg report on the matter. Genzyme is currently being pursued by Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) in a hostile takeover bid. Genzyme management has, so far, rebuffed overtures from the French drug company.
ADRs of Irish banks Allied Irish Bank ( AIB ) and Bank of Ireland (IRE) are off session lows but still in negative territory on expectations that the banks are heading toward greater state ownership, AP reports. There is deep skepticism that an international bailout loan -- whose details are expected to be unveiled Sunday -- will be enough for Ireland to resolve its debts, the story said.
ADRs of database software firm SAP (SAP) are moving higher after taking a hit on Wednesday following news that it lost a $1.3 billion jury verdict against rival Oracle (ORCL) over copyright infringement from a now-closed SAP unit. The trial between the two firms last 11 days and had riveted Silicon Valley. Oracle had said that copyrighted software was used by SAP's U.S.-based TomorrowNow unit to offer technical support to companies Oracle had acquired.
Shares of Impax Laboratories (IPXL) are down as the generic drug company is the target of a patent-infringement suit by Abbott Laboratories (ABT). The suit alleges that Impax infringed on eight patents for Simco, a cholesterol drug, according to a Bloomberg account of the suit.
ADRs of HSBC (HBC) are down as the European bank moved a senior executive to a new role in a move geared toward catering to wealthy Asian customers, reports TheStreet.com. HSBC moved Paul Thurston, who currently heads HSBC's U.K. operation, to be a Hong Kong-based chief executive of retail banking and wealth management, the report noted.
Total (TOT) ADRs are down a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the French firm entered talks with Qatar about developing a $6 billion petrochemical plant. The news is seen as another sign that ExxonMobil (XOM) has pulled out of the project.
Boeing Corp. (BA) shares are down after pushing back near even for the session supported by reports it and rival Airbus are talking with suppliers about their abilities to handle increased production by the aircraft builders. Reuters, citing three people with knowledge of the discussions, said Boeing and Airbus hope to boost production to as many as 80 aircraft a month with four or years and were seeking supplier input about their respective ability to cope with the speedup.
Commodities are down as December gold contracts are down $18 to $1,358 an ounce while January crude contacts are down 0.48%, or $0.42, at $83.44 a barrel.
In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund (USO) is down 0.55% to $35.88 and the United States Natural Gas fund (UNG) is down 0.17% to $6.04
In precious metal ETFs, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 1.27% to $132.47. Market Vectors Gold Miners (GDX) is down 2.08% to $58.43. iShares Silver Trust (SLV) is down 2.7% to $26.22.