Stocks closed the day higher, though little changed, with the Dow and the S&P 500 making a new all-time highs by virtue of closing in positive territory. This also marked the 40th time this year the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. Tuesday saw some of the lightest trading volume in weeks as both banks the Treasury market were closed in observation of the Veterans Day holiday.
First, the scoreboard:
- Dow: 17,610, -3.5, (-0.02%)
- S&P 500: 2,039.8, +1.5, (+0.1%)
- Nasdaq: 4,660.6, +9, (+0.2%)
And now, the top stories on Tuesday:
1. Overall, it’s a light week for economic data, but this morning we got the latest small business optimism survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. This report showed, among other things, that demand for good labour in the US is still in short supply, as 45% of the survey’s respondents said there were “few or no qualified applicants” for available openings. Meanwhile, 19% of firms reported actual compensation changes in the past three months, and while this is a slight decline from prior months the uptrend from the financial crisis lows is still intact.
2. Meanwhile, the market is still waiting for meaningful signs of inflation, and Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro says that rent could be the thing that sets off an increase in inflation. Shepherdson told Business Insider’s Shane Ferro on Tuesday that rent is the biggest component of CPI, accounting for about 40% of this index, and so if there is a tightening in the rental market in the form of higher rents, inflation could surprise to the upside.
3. Tuesday was Singles Day in China, a major shopping event in China equivalent to Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the US, and Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant that went public in the US in September, said it pulled in sales totaling a record $US9.3 billion on Tuesday. Last year, Alibaba saw sales of $US5.8 billion on Singles Day.
4. On Tuesday, Business Insider’s Drake Baer published a lengthy piece outlining the origin story of electric carmaker Tesla, run by charismatic CEO Elon Musk. Baer’s report, which was compiled from months of interviews with former company insiders, shows how the company that has become the hottest car company in the US got its start.
5. Business Insider’s Jay Yarow also threw out an idea for the US’ biggest company, Apple: buy Tesla. Yarow argued that the iPhone maker might make better use of their considerable cash hoard buying Tesla rather than using this money to repurchase shares.