Oil falls to 5 ½ year low; markets are in the red
Global stocks are once again in the red as oil drops back to a five and a half year low. There were some positive moves in the barrel price yesterday over supply risks from unrest in Libya, but it was short-lived. Asian markets have all closed with losses while European markets have also been dragged down by energy stocks and concern over Greece where a forthcoming election could disrupt a bailout. US stock futures are mixed; oil is trending lower; gold is edging higher.
ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7.45am ET
S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9am ET
Consumer Confidence at 10am ET
Coastal Banking and Teleconnect are among those reporting today.
NY burger joint files for IPO
New York’s famous Shake Shack burger restaurant has filed papers for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm will trade separately from its majority shareholder Union Square Hospitality Group. The number of shares and the price are yet to be announced but the IPO aims to raise $100 million but could be as much as $1 billion.
Walgreen expects to complete Alliance Boots acquisition tomorrow
The acquisition by Walgreen of European drug distribution and store firm Alliance Boots is expected to be completed tomorrow after the US firm’s shareholders approved the deal. The deal will see Walgreen restructuring as a holding company; Walgreen Boots Alliance will be the world’s biggest purchaser of prescription drugs. Walgreen will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the new firm which will be headed in the short term by Stefano Pessina, CEO of Alliance Boots, with Walgreen chief Greg Wasson retiring.
Radio Shack struggles but can’t afford store closures
Analysts are predicting that this Christmas may have been the last for radio Shack. The struggling store chain had announced the closure of over 1,000 stores earlier this year but with the costs of closures including penalties for ending leases early and severance pay they have only been able to close 175. The firm could find itself without long term credit if major creditors decide to end agreements in two weeks time; under the terms of agreements Radio Shack needs $100 million in cash and credit but heading into the Christmas period it had just under two-thirds of that.
Size does matter as small firms may be hit most by carriers’ pricing
Two of the largest parcel firms in the US are changing their pricing structures from next week and it may cost small firms a considerable amount. Large packages will no longer be priced just by weight but by ‘dimensional weight’ which includes a size calculation. The firms believe that the market will respond with smaller packaging but there are concerns that smaller businesses may not be able to change their packaging in the short term and the changes may cost them up to 50 per cent more.