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Market Update

Online Sales Surge Drives Holiday Spending Higher, Brent Crude at 11-Year Low

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 12:09 PM ET December 28 2015

12:05 PM New York City, New York – With sellers in control, oil prices turned lower in the last week and stocks followed. Market indexes on Wall Street declined as much as 0.6%. U.S. holiday spending rose more than expected and more shoppers shifted to online shopping.

Stocks on Wall Street traded lower in the last week of the year after crude oil declined 3% and commodities traded new multi-year lows and holiday season sales were ahead of expectations.

Last week, broader indexes rose more than 2.5% following a brief surge in energy stocks.

On Wall Street, Tollbooth Strategy Index slipped 55.15 or 0.5% to 10,763.68.

S&P 500 index dropped 14.52 or 0.7% to 2,046.42 and the Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 39.95 or 0.8% to 5,008.62.

Crude oil in New York declined more than 3% $1.31 to $36.88 a barrel and gold slumped $6.51 to $1,069.59 an ounce.

Brent crude in London also declined 3% and dropped to an 11-year low to $36.77 a barrel and fell below the price of oil in New York on the weaker-than-expected demand from Japan and rising glut in the market.

Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of oil announced plans on Monday to trim government deficit and diversify government revenue sources and float international bonds.

U.S. holiday shopping rose 7.9% according to the latest report released by MasterCard SpendingPulse report. The report tracks sales between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.

The increase in sales was driven by a 20% surge in online shopping.

However, the National Retail Federation, the retail industry group, estimates sales for November and December to increase 3.7% to $630.5 billion from a year ago period.

U.S. Movers

Amazon.com, Inc (AMZN) rose $3.71 to $666.50 after the online retailer and marketplace operator said approximately 3 million new members signed up Prime member services in the last week.

Apple Inc (AAPL) fell $1.03 to $107 and the computer, mobile and media devices maker sued South Korean rival Samsung for additional $180 million damages related to the long-standing patents case.

Last week, Samsung agreed to pay $548 million for infringing iPhone patents and designs.

Chimerix Inc (CMRX) tumbled 77.1% or $27.44 to $8.14 after the oral antiviral drugs maker said that the Phase 3 trial of a drug used to prevent infections following blood and marrow transplants did not significantly reduce certain infection in stem cell transplant patients.

Iconix Brand Group Inc (ICON) plunged 21.7% or $1.61 to $5.84 after the apparel and accessories distributor received a formal order of investigation from the security and exchange commission related to accounting treatment for the formation of certain joint ventures.

European Markets

Trading remained subdued in Europe on the first trading day after Christmas as investors avoided making large moves in the holiday-shortened week.

Major markets traded lower in the afternoon as the latest Chinese economic data added to the concerns for the global economy.

The profits of Chinese industrial companies in November fell 1.4% from the previous year, indicating the sixth consecutive month of decline, according to China National Bureau of Statistics.

Nevertheless, November data represent an improvement from the previous month, when Chinese industrial profits fell 4.6% from a year earlier.

In London, the stock exchange was closed for the Boxing Day holiday.

In Frankfurt the DAX index fell 62.04 or 0.6% to 10,665.53 and in Paris, CAC 40 index slipped 37.79 or 0.8% to 4,628.88.

adidas AG slipped 1.6% to €88.77 after the German sport products maker’s CFO Robin J. Stalker said negative currency effects in 2016 may increase sourcing costs with approximately €500 million.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA surged 1.8% to €1.27 after the third-largest Italian bank sold its non-performing loan portfolio with book value of €1 billion to Epicuro SPV Srl, a securitization business financed by affiliates of Deutsche Bank AG.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc