Best Buy announced they are closing 50 American “Big Box” stores and opening new stores in China. This looks early similar to the death spiral that was Circuit City. The likes of Amazon is destroying large square foot stores like Best Buy, and Wall-Mart for that matter. Best Buy stock fell 6.95%.
Unemployment benefits fell to 359,000 which is a four year low, but still came in higher that the expected 250,000.
USA GDP increased at an annual rate of 3% in Q4 of 2011.
Open Source company Red Hat saw a surge in their stock rising 19.87% after beating earnings expectations and announced a $133 million stock buyback.
Oil and Oil stocks fell today with the joint announcement from America and France saying they are considering tapping their oil reserves. NYMEX Oil was down 2.55% to $102.72 then reversed rising back up to $103.11.
Asian and European markets all finished lower with the Taiwan TSEC 50 Index and the Germany DAX both falling the most.
American markets followed suit with the Nasdaq down .31% and the S&P 500 down .16%. The DOW fought back (with some help from window dressing) to close up .16%
Tomorrow is the last day of the quarter so don’t be surprised to see a bit of a relief rally during Friday trading – large investment firms have been pushing the markets so that the S&P 500 will close out the quarter at or near 1400.