The U.S. stock market is bracing itself for a possible interest rate increase on Wednesday from the Federal Reserve. Stocks are trading modestly to the upside with the S&P 500 gaining six points to trade near 2,018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 41 points to 17,310 and the Nasdaq rising 12 points to 4,945.
Oil continues to drop, falling another 2.5 percent this morning to trade near $34.72 a barrel. Oil is now at an 11-year low as production continues unabated.
The Asian markets closed out their sessions with mixed results. The Chinese Shanghai Composite ended up higher by 2.5 percent after China’s November retail sales grew by 11.2 percent year-over-year. Japan and Hong Kong both closed lower. The European indices are mostly lower across the board.
Destination Maternity stock is on fire. The stock was up over 11 percent in pre-market trading and when the market opened, stayed up over 2 percent to trade near $9.25. Investors have been pushing the stock higher for days. Destination stock is up by 36 percent over the last five days. Traders apparently thought the stock had hit bottom. It dropped from a year’s high of $16.74 to a low of $4.99 that it hit in November. Since then, it has recovered to $9. Activist investor Orchestra-Premaman disclosed in a 13D filing today that it has a 13 percent stake in the company.
Coach was upgraded to overweight from neutral by Piper-Jaffray. The target price on Coach was raised to $37 from $33. The analyst believes Coach’s new products are working as shoppers slowly return. Coach stock jumped by 2.5 percent to $31.15, but is still down 16 percent year-to-date.
Apple Music got an early Christmas present as it signed a deal with Taylor Swift to allow fans to watch the video of her 1989 world tour exclusively on the site. If fans don’t already have an Apple Music account, they can sign up for a free three-month trial. Apple is in a competitive race with Spotify and Pandora for streaming music fans. Swift will reportedly play a big role in the marketing campaign. In October, Apple Music had only 6.5 million paid subscribers versus Spotify’s 20 million paid subscribers.
The latest “Star Wars” film will hit the theaters on December 18, but of course the merchandise has already been in the stores. The movie “The Force Awakens” is expected to deliver $5 billion in franchise merchandise revenue. Disney’s “Frozen” grossed $531 million in product sales. Fans can buy anything from a Star Wars dairy creamer to high-heeled shoes. There is makeup, Chewbacca leggings and even a themed condom called “Saber Skins.”