Welcome to the last trading day of November.
Say hello to a Santa Rally (I hope). December is often a good month with money managers putting in the final push to perk up their portfolios for the year-end, final performance number.
U.S. stocks were down on Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed disappointment that there has been “little progress” in dealing with the “fiscal cliff.”
The European Commission gave the go ahead for Spain to overhaul its stricken nationalized banks on Wednesday and opened the door for nearly 40 billion euros in euro zone aid to be disbursed, offering hope for an end to Spain’s banking crisis.
Costco (COST) announced a special dividend of $7 per share, which will pay shareholders a total of $3 billion on Dec. 18. It’s the latest company to move dividend payments up in calendar year 2012 as taxes on the payments to shareholders is set to rise on Jan. 1. The company posted monthly same-store sales that beat forecasts. The stock was up 4 percent at $100.25 in premarket trade.
Costco rival and Dow stock Wal-Mart (WMT) is also among a number of companies speeding up dividend payments.
Microsoft Corp (MSFT) says it has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses in the month since the launch, setting a faster pace than Windows 7 three years ago.
The national average price of gasoline is down four-tenths of a cent to $3.415 per gallon.
European stocks are down and Asian markets ended lower.
Earnings reports (estimates): WDAY-Workday (-$0.49), WFT-Weatherford (0.20), PLL-Pall Corp (0.66), AEO-American Eagle Outfitters (0.39), TFM-Fresh Market (0.26).
0700 ET Weekly MBA mortgage applications, previous -2.2% with purchase sub-index +2.7% and refi sub-index -3.2%.
0745 ET ICSC (Int’l Council of Shopping Centers) weekly retailer sales.
0855 ET Redbook weekly retailer sales.
1000 ET Oct new home sales expected +0.1% to 390,000, Sep +5.7% to 389,000.
1030 ET DOE Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
1215 ET Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks on regulation of foreign banking organizations at the Yale School of Management Leaders Forum Lecture.
1300 ET Treasury auction of $35 billion in 5-year T-notes.
1400 ET Fed’s Beige Book.