December 23rd , 2013 9:12 am Leave a comment

Futures up in traditionally unhurried holiday week

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are ticking higher again in what is traditionally a slow week as investors close the books on 2013.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial futures are up 46 points to 16,227. S&P futures have gained 7.6 points to 1,822.10. Nasdaq futures are up 24.75 points to 3,557.

SHOPPING MOOD: The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending rose 0.5 percent in November, the healthiest showing since June. Incomes rose 0.2 percent. Those are closely watched figures, especially leading up to the holiday season, with consumer spending driving 70 percent of U.S. economic activity. The income number was weaker than most had expected.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Apple is up 3 percent before the opening bell after striking a highly anticipated deal with China Mobile, the world’s biggest phone company. Darden, which runs Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants, is up after activist investor Starboard Value took a huge stake in the company. It’s expected to push for a breakup. Shares of Target are edging lower with The Wall Street Journal reporting that transactions slipped 3 percent to 4 percent in last weekend before Christmas. The retailer is wrestling with a massive breach of credit and debit card security. Tiffany is down after losing an arbitration case to Swatch.

OF INTEREST: Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, believes the Federal Reserve could begin raising its target rate in early 2015. He told CNBC Monday that the rate will hit 2 percent before the end of that year. Rates are still close to zero. The Fed announced last week that it would trim its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program by $10 billion.

COMING UP: Even in a shortened week, there will be some economic indicators to chew on. In addition to consumer spending, the U.S. reports Tuesday on durable goods orders, as well as new homes sales. Markets are closed Wednesday for the Christmas, but new home sales figures are due Thursday.

HOW OLD ARE YOU?: Happy 100th birthday U.S. Federal Reserve! On Dec. 23, 1917, Congress passed legislation creating the nation’s central bank.

 

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