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Friday 29th of August 2008
December 26, 2006

US department stores see declines after Christmas


by Elaine Frei

The New York equities markets were up slightly at midday as investors returned from the Christmas holiday weekend, but trade was light with many expected to remain on holiday all week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.31 percent higher to 12,381.27, while the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.32 percent to 2,408.75 and the S&P 500 was up 0.29 percent to 1,414.89. The Russell 2000 index of small-caps was 0.72 percent higher, to 786.41.

The oil sector was higher. ConocoPhillips added 32 cents to $71.37, while Chevron gained 42 cents to $73.15. Anadarko Petroleum was 55 cents higher to $42.69 after it said it will sell two of its gas fields in Louisiana, part of its plan to sell assets to lower its debt after purchasing Kerr-McGee and Western Gas Resources earlier in the year. ExxonMobil, meanwhile, was up 56 cents to $75.96.

Retail was mixed but mostly lower. In late morning trade, department stores were lower. Federated Department Stores dropped 0.2 percent to $38.03, while Kohls fell 0.7 percent to $69.30 and J. C. Penney was 1.3 percent lower to $78.54.

Other retailers were also down. Discount retailer Target dropped 0.6 percent to $56.98, while consumer electronics retailer Best Buy was 1.5 percent lower to $49.19. By midday, however, Wal-Mart had gained 28 cents to $45.82 after seeing declines earlier.

Internet shopping sites were mixed, with eBay gaining 0.8 percent to $30.45. Amazon, on the other hand, had dropped 1.6 percent to $39.58.

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