Stocks and exchanged traded funds (ETFs) are slightly higher today in light trading. For this period between Christmas and New Year, we should see light trading volumes all week.
Retailers got a gift this holiday season as retail sales rose an estimated 3.6% from a year earlier, helped by an extra shopping day. Last year’s holiday season was the worst in four decades as sales actually fell by 3.4%, reports Cotten Timberlake and Linda Sandler for Bloomberg. [For more stories on the retail sector, please see our retail category.]
Retail stocks are higher with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE: XRT) up nearly 0.4% this morning and just below its 52-week high.
Airline stocks are down sharply this morning on the back of the attempted terrorist attack on a Christmas day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. This has renewed concerns about terrorism and will likely lead to heightened security measures, reported Mary Jane Credeur for Bloomberg. [For more stories on airlines, see our airlines category.] The Claymore/NYSE Arca Airline ETF (NYSE: FAA) is down only 0.6% so far this morning.
Prices of Treasury securities were lower and yields higher Monday morning as bond investors braced for $118 billion of U.S. government notes supply for the week. In the last round of bond auctions for 2009, the government will sell $44 billion in two-year notes today, $42 billion in five-year notes on Tuesday and $32 billion in seven-year notes on Wednesday, reports Min Zeng of the Dow Jones Newswires.