Early trading on Wall Street was light as investors started to turn their attention to the long holiday weekend.
In New York, mass transit and sidewalks were quiet as many workers had off for the holiday. Retailers, though, are hoping for last-minute purchasers and many stores were open early.
Shortly after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12 points to 17,589 while the S&P 500 was flat at 2,063 and the Nasdaq gained a modest 3 points to 5,049. The market closes at 1 p.m. today.
The latest weekly jobless claims came in at 267,000, much better than the expected 271,000 and nearing a 42-year low. The four-week average, which is considered a more accurate number rose 1,750 to 272,500 last week.
Many retailers are already offering after-Christmas sales today. Gap has everything 75 percent off and Kohl’s has been open for 170 hours straight. Abercrombie & Fitch is discounting its inventory by 40-60 percent off and Macy’s has already begin its post-Christmas sales.
Nike is giving a gift to its shareholders, a two-for-one stock split takes effect today. The company reported another stellar quarter on Tuesday after the market close. On Wednesday, its shares ran up to an all-time higher before pulling back as traders took profits and sent the stock down over 2 percent. Nike shares are now selling for around $64.36.
United Parcel Service’s stock is down 12 cents to $97.12 after Amazon said it was looking at alternatives to the carrier. It may try setting up its own logistics business or use other services. The U.S. Postal Service has seen its business rebound as consumers have returned to the governmental service as rates rose at UPS and FedEx. The post office improved its service to the point that at least some people feel more comfortable trusting their packages with them.