Stocks Start Strong but Whimper at the Close
Stocks in the US started off on a strong note as investors focused on holiday shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year Black Friday. Investors are expecting a slight increase in overall volume, and shoppers to focus on electronics. Stocks closed the Friday session early, and prices eased into the close with only the Nasdaq notching up gains.
The National Retail Federation has forecast that as many as 140M consumers will go shopping over the long weekend, up from 139.4 million in 2012. IBISWorld has projected that total sales through Cyber Monday will rise 2.2% to $40.0 billion.
Retailers are pushing Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products and are offering amazing deals on Apple’s iPad Mini. On Black Friday, Target is giving $75 gift cards when you buy an iPad Mini, dropping the effective price to $224 for the entry-level model. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was reported offering a $100 gift card with the purchase of an iPad Mini at the regular price of $299 on Thursday evening, knocking the price down to $199. The strong performance in Apple’s stock price lifted the Nasdaq composite above 4K for the first time in 13 years.
Also lifting stocks was news that the EU was seeing stronger than expected employment data. Eurozone unemployment dropped for first time in almost three years Eurozone unemployment has unexpectedly fallen for the first time since February 2011, dropping to 12.1% in October from 12.2 in September.
The S&P 500 index closed lower and continued to consolidate in a slightly upward trend. Momentum has been sapped with the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index printing near the zero index level. The RSI (relative strength index) is printing near 65 which is the upper end of the neutral range.
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