Shoppers were out on Black Friday as the National Retail Federation reported total spending for the holiday period (Thursday through Sunday) came in at $57.4 billion. Despite the public debate against retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day, 45 million shoppers went out looking for gifts, a 27% increase from last year. Black Friday was the biggest moneymaker over the 4-day weekend as 92 million people shopped. The average spending price came in at $407 for the 4 days, down from $423 last year.
Most of Wall Street was away on Friday but we worked to get a head start on this week as we looked for clues to see if the current rally will last into and through December or if the is a short-term hiccup we need to worry about. We mentioned in our Weekly Wrap and this morning in the Daily that we are still bullish but we did see a few warning signs on Friday that has us somewhat cautious.
We also see a lot of reasons why a continued rally could occur into 2014 and we will talk about that landscape over the next few weeks as we wind down another great year and look forward to the grind again next year. Even better, the next 6 weeks will offer us plenty of opportunities to trade as volatility starts to heat up.
Today’s flat session could pick up in the afternoon and the bulls will need to guard against the late day bear attacks that occurred last week on light volume. If there is selling pressure into the close and volume picks up, we could be getting another clue to lock-in profits.
As we head to press, the Dow is down 22 points to 16,063 while the S&P 500 is up a point to 1,806. The Nasdaq is lower by a 6-pack to 4,054 and the Russell 2000 is declining 5 points to 1,137. The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 14.07, up 0.32) has traded to a high of 14.23.
We do have some nice pin action going with a few of our current trades and we are going to use today’s pops to lock-in some profits. Subscribers, check the Members Area for the Profit Alert and stay locked-and-loaded into the close in case we take additional action.