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Wall Street Today | Holiday sales jump 8.5% as US consumers return to retailers

Moomoo Recap USwrote a column12/27/2021 08:06
Wall Street Today | Holiday sales jump 8.5% as US consumers return to retailers
U.S. futures rise as traders mull virus, China vow
U.S. equity futures rose Monday and the dollar was steady against major peers as traders weighed spiking coronavirus cases and a weekend pledge from China's central bank of greater economic support.
$S&P 500 index(.SPX.US)$ and $NASDAQ 100 Index(.NDX.US)$ contracts gained, while those for Japan earlier pointed to a muted start. Crude oil and gold slipped. Bitcoin was trading at about $51,000 after a steady period over Christmas.
Meme madness, 68 new highs: superlatives abound in 26% S&P rally
Superlatives followed one after another in 2021's wild ride for U.S. stock investors. The most all-time highs in 26 years. Triple-digit rallies in some small caps thanks to retail-trader frenzies.
S&P 500's steady march higher has helped push it to a fresh record 68 times this year, the second-most ever, topped only by 1995. Put another way, the S&P managed a record close on nearly 30% of all trading days in 2021.
Holiday sales jump 8.5% as U.S. consumers return to retailers
U.S. holiday sales jumped 8.5% from last year, a report from $MasterCard(MA.US)$ SpendingPulse showed.
Sales surged 47% for apparel, 32% for jewelry and 16% for electronics compared with 2020, with all three categories up at least 20% from their pre-pandemic levels in 2019 as well. Department stores saw a 21% jump from last year and gained 11% from two years ago.
Online shopping surged 11%, according to the report, which tracks retail sales across all payment types. E-commerce now accounts for roughly 21% of all holiday sales.
Omicron drives Christmas weekend flight cancellations above 1,500
U.S. airlines have canceled hundreds of flights over the Christmas holiday weekend, citing an increase in Covid cases among crews. Airlines offered flight crews extra pay to pick up trips.
Carriers have asked the CDC to lower its recommended quarantine period for fully vaccinated staff.
'Bubblicious' used car prices are rising faster than bitcoin, market researcher Jim Bianco warns
Used auto prices are rising faster than bitcoin and other assets, according to market researcher Jim Bianco.
"In the last four months, they've gone up in price more than 20%. Not only is that more than the S&P, but over the last four months that's more than bitcoin itself," he said. "As of December 15, the latest set of data we've got, they're just accelerating higher and higher right now. There's no peak at least as of now."
In hot job market, salaries start to swell for white-collar workers
U.S. professionals toward the end of this year saw their compensation jump at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years, federal data show. Wages for all private-sector workers grew 4.6% year over year in the third quarter, according to federal data, with the biggest gains going to workers in service occupations and industries such as retail and hospitality.
For management, business and financial occupations, wages rose 3.9% in the quarter, slower than overall wage growth but still the fastest pace on record since 2003 for this bucket of workers.
Bill Gates: People's distrust of governments is the most worrying issue into 2022
In a 2019 poll of American adults, 75% of respondents said their fellow citizens' trust in the federal government was shrinking. And about four in ten respondents thought the mistrust made it harder to handle issues like health care, immigration and gun violence.
In Gates' blog post, he noted that 24-hour news cycles, politically incentivized headlines and social media have each played a role in the "growing divide" — and that governments may need regulate online platforms to effectively dispel misinformation.
Temasek-backed Vertex wins nod for SPAC listing in Singapore
Vertex has become the first blank-check company sponsor in Singapore to receive an eligibility-to-list letter from the local exchange.
Vertex Venture plans to invest S$30 million ($22 million) in the SPAC through the subscription of units and intends to contribute up to S$10 million of "at-risk" capital by purchasing warrants in a private placement, the statement said.
Source: Bloomberg, CNBC, WSJ
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