We are ready to call this the biggest misleading financial headline of 2016. “U.S. Stocks Post Worst Annual Losses Since 2008”. We all remember in 2008 the S&P 500 was down nearly 40%. In 2015 the S&P 500 was down 0.7% and if you add in the dividends returned a positive of a little over 1%. Be careful of the headlines. The world did not end like the Wall Street Journal headline would lead you to believe.
The U.S. economy's manufacturing sector contracted in December, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The employment component fell but new factory orders rose. Construction spending posted its first decline in nearly 1-1/2 years. (CNBC)
As President Obama moves to limit gun ownership, Smith & Wesson is raising its quarterly revenue and earnings guidance, saying gun sales have been stronger than expected and predicting a continuation of that trend. The stock is up 147% in the last 12 months. Competitor Sturm, Ruger stock is up almost 72% in the same time period. (WSJ)
Amazon says more than 23 million items were ordered worldwide from sellers on Amazon on Cyber Monday, a more than 40% increase from the prior year. But even in the digital world there are returns. In the first week of January, UPS anticipates it will backhaul more than 5 million packages back to U.S. retailers — that would be 500,000 more than last year. (CNBC)