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    Daily Digest 12/26 – After Christmas Sales, Oil Prices Rise, IRS Delays Filing Season

    by DailyDigest

    Sunday, December 26, 2010, 4:00 PM

  • After Christmas Sales Could Lure Shoppers Back
  • Positive US Information Help Increase Stocks As Oil Prices Rise
  • China Raises Interest Rates Again to Cool Inflation
  • IRS Delays Start of Filing Season for Taxpayers With Itemized Deductions
  • Crude A Tad Down In Thin Trades Ahead Of Holiday
  • Financial Times taps Jobs as Person of the Year
  • Copper Approaches Record as Swiss Franc Weakens on Global Recovery Signs

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Economy

After Christmas Sales Could Lure Shoppers Back



Some of the country’s biggest retailers are prepared for the onslaught of customers. Best Buy and Sears have both announced sales that will begin on Dec. 26, while many stores are lengthening their operating hours to accommodate as many customers as possible. Best Buy will have its annual Day After Christmas Sale, with stores across the country opening their doors on Dec. 26 at 7 a.m. The sale also offers free shipping at the BestBuy.com on Dec. 26 and 27 on a number of items.

Positive US Information Help Increase Stocks As Oil Prices Rise



US information on Thursday indicated an increase in spending for the fifth month in a row and increased demand for a number of US produced merchandise strengthening positive prospects for the fourth quarter. According to Bernard McAlinden of NCB Stockbrokers the positive economic information and quantitative easing made the run possible. The MSCI index, which went up by 9.6 percent, increased to a level just under the highest level in over two years.

China Raises Interest Rates Again to Cool Inflation



The People’s Bank of China said it would raise the one-year benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.81 percent, and the benchmark deposit rate by the same amount to 2.75 percent. The Chinese economy has been awash in liquidity due to government stimulus money and generous lending by state banks. Chinese officials are now concerned about an overheated economy and the inflationary pressures that come with that.

IRS Delays Start of Filing Season for Taxpayers With Itemized Deductions



“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in a statement. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers. The IRS will work through the holidays and into the new year to get our systems reprogrammed and ensure taxpayers have a smooth tax season.” The delay also applies to filers preparing to take advantage of a deduction for college tuition and fees of up to $4,000, and a separate $250 deduction for teachers’ out-of- pocket classroom expenses.

Crude A Tad Down In Thin Trades Ahead Of Holiday



At 1125 GMT, ICE February Brent was down 29 cents at $93.96 a barrel. The ICE’s gasoil contract for January delivery was $1.75 lower at $782.75 a metric ton. Trades for crude and products futures on ICE futures will close at noon. The New York Mercantile Exchange was closed Friday. Although oil prices hit the highest levels in more than two years, some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries seem unworried.

Financial Times taps Jobs as Person of the Year



Saying this year’s unveiling of the iPad “capped the most remarkable comeback in modern business history,” the FT noted Apple’s Jobs-led bounce-back from its near demise in the ’90s, as well as the visionary leader’s perseverance through his recent struggles with cancer. In terms of Silicon Valley lore, the publication said, Jobs now shares the stage with no one. “Long-time nemesis Bill Gates may be richer and, at his peak, arguably exerted greater sway, thanks to his monopoly over the world’s PC software,” the FT said in a profile of Jobs earlier this week. “But the Microsoft co-founder has left the stage to devote his life and fortune to good works. It is Mr. Jobs who now holds the spotlight.”

Copper Approaches Record as Swiss Franc Weakens on Global Recovery Signs



Copper gained 0.7 percent, extending this year’s rally to 27 percent. The franc depreciated 0.4 percent against the euro. The FTSE 100 Index added 0.2 percent, swinging to a gain from a loss in the final minutes of trading. The S&P/TSX added 0.1 percent at 1:10 p.m. in Toronto. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell less than 0.1 percent, the first drop in four days, as North Korea threatened to wage a “sacred war” if attacked. U.S. markets were closed for the Christmas holiday.






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