(By Rich Bieglmeier) Thursday was a day of mixed economic reports and more worries about stagnant fiscal cliff discussions. Jobless claims were much lower than anticipated, coming in at 343,000 versus expectations of 370,000. Retail Sales gained 0.3%, which is better than October's flat reading; however, November's result was only half of the 0.6% forecast.
Both sides in D.C. pointed the finger at the other side and blamed the other party for a lack of "compromise" on fiscal cliff talks. Intrade puts it at 84% that we are cannonballing on January 1, 2013. But don't worry; the papers are starting to say we can handle a small cliff dive that lasts a short while without causing too much damage.
The snail paced discussions were blamed for the markets turning red on Thursday. While talks in the nation's capital are inching along, volume was fairly brisk. Although stocks dropped, and volume was solid, the state of the indexes didn't change much. As they say in basketball, no blood, no foul. No technical damage has been done.
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There isn't much in the way of economic news today that's going to upset or invigorate traders. At 9:15 a.m. EST, Industrial Production will be announced. The street believes the post Sandy blues are over, and we'll see a rise of 0.3%. Miss, beat, on target, the result might move the market at the opening bell but forgotten before lunch.
In all likelihood, stocks will get most of their work in early in the day and fade as the final bell of the week approaches. If the NASDAQ wiggles it way a touch lower on Friday, you might read a bit about the index suffering the "death cross," which is when the 50-day average moves below the 200-day average. We don't worry too much about it as a standalone event and with a 50/50 track record. Now, if the S&P and Dow join the death cross party, then iStock would be a little twitchy.
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Finally, next week brings a few more names to our weekly iEstimates, including a big name.
Happy Trading and have a great weekend.
|Apogee Entrprs||APOG||12/18/2012||$0.23||$0.30 ||$0.07 ||30.43%|
|Conagra Foods||CAG||12/19/2012||$0.55||$0.56 ||$0.01 ||1.82%|
| Chinaedu Cp-Adr||CEDU||12/19/2012||$0.11||$0.13 ||$0.02 ||18.18%|
| Discover Fin Sv||DFS||12/19/2012||$1.11||$1.13 ||$0.02 ||1.80%|
| Nike Inc-B||NKE||12/19/2012||$1.00||$1.04 ||$0.04 ||4.00%|
| Steelcase Inc||SCS||12/19/2012||$0.13||$0.14 ||$0.01 ||7.69%|
| Shiloh Inds Inc||SHLO||12/19/2012||$0.19||$0.25 ||$0.06 ||31.58%|
| Kb Home||KBH||12/20/2012||$0.06||$0.09 ||$0.03 ||50.00%|
Last week's iEstimates' Results
|Company||Ticker||EPS Date||eps||iEstimate||Surprise||% Surprise||Actual|
| Chinaedu Cp-Adr||CEDU||12/10/2012||$0.11||$0.13 ||$0.02 ||18.18%||12/19/2012|
| Schiff Nutritn||SHF||12/10/2012||$0.25||$0.32 ||$0.07 ||28.00%||Bought Out|
| Landauer Inc||LDR||12/9/2012||$0.60||$0.66 ||$0.06 ||10.00%||$0.54|