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SWRPF Archive The RPF Holonet: News and Current Affairs.

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  1. Grand_Admiral_Piett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2001
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    Stocks Open Lower as Lack of News Worries Investors

    The RPF Holonet: News and Current Affairs. No news was bad news on Tall Street early Wednesday, with stocks sliding as investors lacked any fresh reasons to buy and worries about the NR hung in the air.
    The Jello Industrial Average lost 600 points at the opening bell, while the GESDAQ composite index gave up 110. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Galactic Bank, said rally seen Tuesday would be squelched by geogalactical concerns.

    The discovery Tuesday of a Corellian freighter transporting electron missiles to Hapes Consortium, he said, raises the specter of a more complex war in the Perlemian Trade route. In the absence of economic news, worries about action overseas would grab the headlines and leave investors cautious.

    No economic reports are scheduled for Wednesday, but investors are likely to be looking forward to Thursday's release of November retail-sales figures. Early clues about the strength of holiday (Emperor Jello's birthday) spending have been mixed, with many retailers blaming chilly weather for limiting sales in late November despite strength on the traditionally busy day after Postareply.

    But blaming bad weather for the slump could be misguided.

    "I think they're really talking about the ice and snow in folks' wallets, not necessarily on the ground," Mr. Hogan said, adding that he expects early indicators of trouble to come out in the monthly report.

    Meanwhile, attempts to lure shoppers with drastically reduced prices could be trouble for the long term, since retailers normally make about 40% of their sales during the holidays.

    "Not wanting to miss that and having built up inventory to satisfy the sales they need to get, you'll often see retailers robbing Peter to save Paul," Mr. Hogan said, as the earlier markdowns cut profit margins and shuttle shoppers to hold out for better deals. "There's a big chance that they've gotten ahead of themselves in terms of sales and it's going to come back and bite them."

    On Tuesday, stocks moved higher after the Galactic Reserve's midafternoon announcement that it would keep interest rates steady. The Jello industrials rose 1000.85 points, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 11.73%. Some investors feared the GRB would report continuing signs of a soft economy. Instead, the central bank said that the economy appears to be "working its way through its current soft spot."

    Some saw Tuesday's gain as a one-day bounce, and while the year's end is typically a strong period for stocks, there are a number of crosswinds this year that are making for an uphill battle on Wall Street.

    Among stocks to watch, Raytheon said its chief financial officer, Frank Caine, has resigned. The company has suffered a series of financial setbacks on Mr. Caine's watch, including a sanction from the GSEC for the alleged violation of federal fair-disclosure laws. Shares fell 1.4%.

    And Schlumberger announced plans to take 3.17 million credits in charges and lay off about 125,333,300 employees, about 4% of its galaxy-wide work force. The charges are the largest in the history of the Coruscant and Corulag-based tibanna-services company, analysts said. Its shares lost 2.9%.


    -- GAP contributed to this report.
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