(By Rich Bieglmeier) Ho-ho-ho, with two days left; will stocks give it a go? Probably not. iStock rewound the S&P's historical prices back to the turn of the century – 2000 – and found that the last two days before Christmas tend to be as quiet as a mouse. You knew that was coming, didn't you?
Oddly, even numbered years have all the negative performance, losing ground in three of the six years. Throw out 2000, and the remaining five even numbered years have averaged a loss of 0.28%. Traders might as well head for the long weekend today. I know, I know, this numerology stuff is all hocus-pocus, but thought it was worth pointing out. BTW – if you are reading this, does it mean the world didn't end? Hey, how about a shout out from our friends in Australia. Are you there, or do we have something to worry about?
Since we are still here and need to deal with Wall Street and the goofballs also known as politicians, stocks have managed to make gains for the last two days before Christmas in nine of the last 12 years. Overall, the average return has been 0.63%. Man, traders and investors must be only slightly better than naughty. Stocks have been nice enough to put more than 1% in trader's stockings before the holiday just three times since 2000.
While the volume and price might be quiet for the next couple of days, big news gets unwrapped before the market opens this Friday. Durable Goods Orders and Personal Income & Outlays will be announced at 8:30 am EST. Wall Street anticipates Durable Goods to rise by 0.5%. Considering the strength in cars and word $9 billion in orders for Boeing (BA), we wouldn't be surprised to see a better than expected result, maybe in the neighborhood of 0.7%; although, exports around the globe are weak.
While you are more concerned with the income side of the Personal Income & Outlays side of the announcement, Wall Street is more focused on spending. Economists say spending rose by 0.4%, considering the string of retail and spending misses, iStock thinks we'll be hard pressed to see a reading above today's target.
On the fiscal cliff front, House Republicans are expected to pass a number of measures to bypass the cliff; however, Harry Reid sent the Senate home for Christmas. The bus is teetering, better head for the emergency exit at the back.
We think the odds are small that Wall Street sends everybody home for Christmas with nasty losses, no matter how the economic reports and politicians act. After all, shouldn't we all celebrate the fact that the Mayans were wrong, and we are still here?
Finally, as you can imagine, earnings announcements for the week ahead are small, three by our count, but one did manage to qualify for our iEstimates.
| Cal-Maine Foods||CALM||12/23/2012||$0.95||$1.07 ||$0.12||12.63%|
Last week's iEstimates results.
| Apogee Entrprs||APOG||12/18/2012||$0.23||$0.30 ||$0.07 ||30.43%||$0.280|
| Conagra Foods||CAG||12/19/2012||$0.55||$0.56 ||$0.01 ||1.82%||$0.570|
| Chinaedu Cp-Adr||CEDU||12/19/2012||$0.11||$0.13 ||$0.02 ||18.18%||$0.115|
| Discover Fin Sv||DFS||12/19/2012||$1.11||$1.13 ||$0.02 ||1.80%||$1.070|
| Nike Inc-B||NKE||12/19/2012||$1.00||$1.04 ||$0.04 ||4.00%||$1.140|
| Steelcase Inc||SCS||12/19/2012||$0.13||$0.14 ||$0.01 ||7.69%||$0.140|
| Shiloh Inds Inc||SHLO||12/19/2012||$0.19||$0.25 ||$0.06 ||31.58%||$0.210|
| Kb Home||KBH||12/20/2012||$0.06||$0.09 ||$0.03 ||50.00%||$0.100|