Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Today is Veterans Day, and as a federal holiday, banks were closed and no new economic data were released, as the nation took time to honor its armed service members. With the stock market in firm rally mode, however, Wall Street bid the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) modestly higher today, as the index added 21 points, or 0.1%, to end at 15,783. Tomorrow, investors will get a sense of whether Wall Street's optimism translates to Main Street and the world of small business, as the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index is released Tuesday.
Shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), which reports earnings on Thursday, added 1.4% Monday, as the holiday retail season starts to heat up. The big-box retailer is offering some serious holiday deals on its website to compete with rivals like Amazon.com in the fourth quarter. Wal-Mart started offering "Black Friday" deals about a month earlier than usual this year, to get a leg up on the competition.
Another retailer, Sears Holdings (NASDAQOTH:SHLDQ), saw its stock jump 5.7% after agreeing to liquidate a number of Canadian joint ventures for $315 million to an investment group. Sears has floated the idea recently of selling its Lands' End brand to raise liquidity, but this sale frees up some financial wiggle room without ridding itself of its valuable Lands' End asset. Sears Holdings, which also owns Kmart, is catching some serious criticism for its own Black Friday-related policies. Kmart stores will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and stay open for nearly two straight days, sparking controversy regarding workers' rights.
Lastly, stock in consumer-electronics store Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) surged 4.5% today on several upgrades from Wall Street analysts. With new-generation gaming consoles coming out for the first time in years this holiday season, Best Buy should be one of the go-to brick-and-mortar locales for gamers to get new games, consoles, and accessories. Best Buy, while not going to the extremes of Sears, will open shop on Thanksgiving night for the holiday rush.