Stocks mostly higher: Mixed bag of economic news has investors scratching their heads. Dow is up 50 points.
Third quarter looking better: The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7 percent from July through September, significantly better than the 2 percent estimate a month ago. But the revision showed a drop-off in consumer spending. (AP)
Weakish month for retailers: November sales were generally lower than expected, with Macy's, Nordstrom, Kohl's and Target reporting only mixed results. From the NYT:
Craig Johnson, a retail consultant and president of Customer Growth Partners, said that early November was weak across the board and not just in the Northeast, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy in late October. "The traditional post-Black Friday lull, normally starting the following week, started on ...Black Friday," Mr. Johnson wrote in an e-mail. Activity in shopping malls slowed down starting about noon that Friday, he said, "right about the time the early bird specials expired, and long after the Thanksgiving evening doorbuster items were all sold out -- leaving financially stressed consumers with little reason to shop" so many weeks away from Christmas.
Jobless claims fall: Weekly filings were down 23,000 to 393,000 - still elevated due to Hurricane Sandy. Applications had spiked to 451,000 after the storm. (AP)
Port walkout expands: As of late Wednesday, workers were striking at
six of the seven terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and three of six terminals at the Port of Long Beach. From the Daily Breeze:
It is not clear when the strike will end, but insiders say one of three scenarios is likely. In the first, the sides will come to an agreement on a new set of contracts. In the second, the Office Clerical Unit will quietly drop its picket lines and return to work as it continues to bargain for a new contract, effectively going back to the situation before the strike. In the third, President Barack Obama could seek an emergency injunction under the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, which could require the workers to return to the port during an 80-day cooling off period.
Jeff Zucker gets CNN job: Official announcement this morning that the former head of NBC will try reviving the faltering news network. (NYT)
Doug DeCinces indicted: The former Angels and Orioles third baseman is alleged to have used inside information prior to the proposed acquisition of a medical device company. When the offer was made public, DeCinces sold his newly purchased shares and profited about $1.3 million, prosecutors say. (AP)