It’s the last week of August trading. The trains are quiet and the parking lots have lots of spaces up front. Camp is over and school hasn’t started yet in the Northeast.
Most Wall Street traders are off on vacation and so volumes are light at the exchanges. Following last week’s meeting of economists in Jackson Hole, Wyo., whoever is left to cover the desk is looking ahead to Friday’s non-farm payroll report as an indication of whether the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates.
The dollar gained some strength post-Jackson Hole and that has sent crude oil lower this morning. It has now dropped below $47, but don’t get anxious unless it clicks below $45.
The S&P is up three points to 2,172, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is rising by 40 points to 18,436 and the Nasdaq is gaining six points to trade at 5,225. The S&P Retail ETF is higher by 5 cents to $45.07.
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. seemed unable to find any buyers on Monday morning following Friday’s plunge over the company’s earnings. The retailer reported that net sales jumped an enviable 22 percent and the comp sales rose over 14 percent, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy investors wanting even prettier results. The stock dropped more than 6 percent. Today, the stock is slipping slightly by 7 cents to $254.
Amazon.com Inc. has decided to continue opening physical brick-and-mortar stores. The e-commerce giant opened its first bookstore in Seattle last fall. The company now plans more stores in Chicago, San Diego and Portland, Ore. Amazon also said that it would begin offering 30-hour work weeks. The company said it was an experiment and would address flexible hours without losing benefits. Amazon stock is down by 15 cents to trade at $768.93.
Looking ahead, retailers will continue to roll out earnings this week with Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Chico’s FAS Inc. and G-III Apparel Group Ltd. to report on Tuesday before the market opens. Shoe retailer DSW Inc. will also deliver its numbers before stocks begin trading on Tuesday.