black friday

The European rumour mill was cranking while American consumers were shopping like mad.

First, the scoreboard:

Dow: +291.1 pts, +2.6%
S&P 500: +33.9 pts, +2.9%
NASDAQ: +85.8 pts, +3.5%

And now, the top stories:

  • As the European debt crisis picture became increasingly dire following last week’s disastrous German bond auction and slew of sovereign debt downgrades across Europe, rumours flew of new drastic eurozone rescue measures.  Among the rumours was an IMF-led 600 billion euro bailout package for Italy, which was quickly denied.  France and Germany were rumoured to soon announce a “stability pact” that could pave the way for more dramatic intervention by the ECB.  Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the European Commission was considering a plan that would involve bank debt guarantees.  Ultimately, investors seem optimistic that leaders will act quickly and effectively as Europe comes closer to the brink.
  • After meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, President Barack Obama said he would support his counterparts in Europe.  However, there was no talk of any specific financial support from the U.S.
  • In a new report, the OECD slashed its 2012 global growth forecast to 1.6%, down from 2.8%. The organisation also warned of “highly devastating outcomes” if the European debt crisis isn’t dealt with sufficiently. Here are 11 Big Charts That Show What A Mess The Economy Has Suddenly Become >
  • October new home sales came in at an annualized rate of 307k, just missing economists’ estimate of 315k.  The markets didn’t budge on the news.  For more on the U.S. economy: This Is What The US Economy Will Be Like In 2012 And 2013 >
  • Black Friday made the record books.  According to the National Retail Federation, a record

226 million shoppers visited stores and websites this Black Friday, with the average shopper spending $389.62 this weekend, up from 212 million shoppers last year spending an average $365.34 last year.  According to ShopperTrak, total sales were up 6.6% from last year to $11.4 billion, with customer traffic up 5.1%.  Citi’s Deborah Weinswig said the clear winners included Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Walmart, which closed up 4.7%, 0.9%, and 0.6%, respectively.  Luxury brands also surged.  Coach jumped 6.7%.  Tiffany’s increased 5.9%. Apple shares were up 3.5% today as it too experienced its busiest Black Friday ever. Cyber Monday, the busiest day for online holiday shoppers, is also shaping up to be a record-breaker.  Shares of were up 6.4% today. In other news, a judge rejected Citigroup’s $285 million SEC settlement tied to subprime mortgage CDOs.  The judge told the parties to prepare for trial.  Citigroup shares closed 6% higher. Don’t Miss: These Big Clear Charts Show How Americans Are Still Up To Their Neck In Debt

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