STOCKS ADVANCE AS ECB EXTENDS STIMULUS PROGRAM
- The ECB said that it would extend its bond-purchase program by nine months to the end of 2017, but reduce its monthly purchase volume to €60 billion from €80 billion ($86.2 billion) as of April.
- Lululemon soared 17.3 percent following the yoga and leisure apparel retailer’s reported of a better-than-expected quarterly profit.
- Costco rose 2.5 percent after the warehouse club retailer reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts’ expectations.
US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Costco reported a profit of $545 million, up from $480 million a year earlier.
- Revenue rose 3.2% to $28.1 billion.
- Net sales climbed 3.2% to $27.5 billion, while membership fees rose to $630 million from $593 million.
- Canada-based, company reported better-than-expected same-store sales growth of 4%.
- Including e-commerce, same-store sales rose 7%, as direct-to-consumer net revenue increased 16% to $104 million.
- Net revenue climbed 13% to $544.4 million.
- Lululemon earned $68.3 million, compared with $53.2 million a year ago.
- Total revenue fell 14.3 percent to $5.03 billion in the third quarter.
- Sears has not posted an increase in quarterly sales in the past five years.
- Sales at stores open at least a year fell 7.4 percent, due to weak sales in several categories including apparel, grocery and consumer electronics.
- Dell said revenue from its legacy businesses remained relatively unchanged and that the EMC deal increased revenue by 28% to $16.25 billion.
- Blood-testing startup projected that 2016 revenue could hit nearly $2 billion; a surprising email.
- Partnership will result in Windows 10 update that runs on chip in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors.
- About 45.2 million passengers are expected to fly globally on U.S. airlines from Dec. 16 through Jan. 5, up 3.5% from the same period in 2015.
- Airlines for America said on average this means 73,000 more passengers are expected to fly daily, and the airlines are projected to offer a collective 99,000 additional seats per day—a 3.9 % increase over the winter holiday period last year.
- Chevron announced a $19.8 billion capital and exploratory investment program for 2017, down 42 percent from its outlays in 2015.
- The 2017 budget is expected to be at least 15 percent lower than projected 2016 capital investments, Chevron said.
- Chevron said in March it would slash its capital budget by as much as 36 percent in 2017 and 2018.
- Big banks have an unexpected message for President-elect Donald Trump: Don’t trash the Dodd-Frank Act.
- That is a contrast to some in Washington who have called for full repeal of Dodd-Frank, the legislation passed in 2010 that imposed new constraints on banks and created new agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- The Trump team has talked about dismantling the law, although it has yet to state clearly whether this would involve a repeal of Dodd-Frank.
- Laird Landmann and Tad Rivelle left PIMCO in 1994 to escape Bill Gross.
- Now their firm, Los-Angeles based TCW Group Inc., has dethroned Pimco as the manager of the largest actively managed bond fund in the world.
- TCW’s largest fund, called Metropolitan West Total Bond Return Fund, manages about $79 billion and has received $46 billion of new investments since September 2014 when Mr. Gross quit Pimco,
- Still, the fund falls far short of the $171 billion Vanguard’s largest bond fund manages and the $293 billion Pimco Total Return managed at its peak in 2013.
- The U.S. Surgeon General called surging e-cigarette use by children and young adults “a major public health concern” and recommended increased regulation and taxation of the products in a report set to be released Thursday.
- The surgeon general’s report, by contrast, highlights the risks of nicotine exposure to young people. Those risks include mood disorders, deficits in attention and cognition, and addiction to nicotine that could lead to the use of traditional cigarettes.
- E-cigarettes have become the most commonly–used tobacco product among middle school and high-school students.
- Among 10th-graders surveyed in 2015, 10.4% said they had used only e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, and 2.2% said they had used only cigarettes.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., fell by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000.
- Initial claims have held below 300,000 for 92 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak since 1970.
- Tax, trade and other policy proposals are targeted to fuel GDP increases of 3.5% or more, but many doubt long-term view.
- Perhaps most important, demographic trends have produced slower growth in the working population.
EUROPE & WORLD
- The ECB said it would cut monthly purchases to 60 billion euros from the current 80 billion euros but extend the buys until the end of 2017.
- The ECB has already spent more than 1.4 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion) buying bonds.
TODAY in HISTORY
Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854)
Congress declared war on Japan and the U.S. entered World War II (1941)
John Lennon, former member of the Beatles, was shot and killed in New York City by a deranged fan (1980)
President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the first treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the two superpowers (1987)
President Bill Clinton signed The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law (1993)
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