Retail sales numbers are out today, as stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) take a breath in anticipation of good news. Jobless claims is another factor weighing on Wall Street.Retail sales for 2009 showed the biggest yearly drop on record and the number of newly laid-off workers requesting unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week. This re-enforces how the economy and consumers continue to have some struggles, explains Martin Crutsinger and Christopher S. Rugaber for Associated Press.
- SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT)
Stocks and ETFs are still mixed on news after the government reported businesses increased inventories by a larger-than-expected amount in November. The gain in inventories is a welcome sign for the economy and suggests that businesses are feeling more confident that sales will pick up. It was the second straight month that stockpiles increased after a stretch of 13 monthly declines, reports Associated Press on Yahoo Finance.
Financial institutions are being called upon today by President Obama, as he wants to tax 50 big banks and major financial institutions for at least the next decade to recoup taxpayer losses from the bailout. Jackie Calmes for The New York Times reports that the tax on banks, insurance companies and brokerages with more than $50 billion in assets would start after June 30 and seek to collect $90 billion over 10 years.
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