Business News

Easter Spending Way Up

The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq on track for their first weekly losses in the past six weeks. Today is the last trading day of the week as U.S. financials markets will be closed tomorrow for the Good Friday holiday. (CNBC)
The National Retail Federation’s annual Easter Spending Survey says spending for the holiday is expected to reach $17.3 billion. Those celebrating plan to spend an average of $146 per person. That’s the highest level in the 13 years. Consumers will spend $5.5 billion on food, $3 billion on clothing, $2.7 billion on gifts, $2.4 billion on candy and $1.2 billion on flowers.
Yum Brands, owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, is in talks with private equity firms to sell a minority stake in its China operations as it prepares to spin off the once booming and now battered unit. The spin off could be worth $10 billion. (Reuters)
The world continues to drown in excess supply. U.S. oil stockpiles skyrocketed by 9.4 million barrels last week to 532.5 million barrels. The latest supply surge is driven by overseas producers. Total  gasoline stockpiles plunged by 4.6 million barrels last week as more people take to the open road.
S&P 500 is down 10 and the NASDAQ is down 20.  MSCI International Index is down 1%.
Oil is down 84 cents at $38.95 a barrel. Oil is headed for its biggest weekly slide in two months, battered by record-high crude stockpiles in the U.S., and a stronger dollar. (Reuters)
Gold is down $2 at $1222 a Troy ounce.

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