Bonnie Petrie

Business & Money Thursday Morning Preview #Hounews

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Investors are coming off a 33rd-record close for the Dow this year, adding 129-points–.8%–to 15,746. The S&P 500 also went up, but not quite enough to set another record. And the Nasdaq composite edged lower.
Gold fell $2 to $1,316/ounce. Oil rose 8-cents a barrel to $95.08.

Twitter goes public today, one of the most highly anticipated initial public offerings to hit the stock market this year. But, the excitement has wealth management advisers like Diahann Lassus seeing red. “It might be fun to invest in if you’re using small amounts of money that you can afford to lose,” she says. The stock price has been set at $26–above the expected range.

Whole Foods Market shares tumbled in after-hours trading after reporting a revenue shortfall in its fiscal fourth quarter, and trimming its annual outlook for 2014. Whole Foods posted a 7% increase in profits, helped by lower food inflation.

A good old fashioned tug-of-war continues between Houston’s Superior Energy Services and Petroleos de Venezuela–the government-run oil company, over a $10-million invoice from the service provider. At stake–a couple of hydraulic snubbing units: “It hydraulically pushes and pulls pipe, and goes in and can do maintenance work whenever you’re trying to enhance production,” according to Greg Rosenstein, Executive VP Corporate Development for Superior.  (I’m scratching my head over this one: Venezuela owes the money, refuses to pay the bill, and then expropriates Superior’s equipment when the company stops work for non-payment? What kind of alternative universe exists down there??-Ed.)

Deloitte’s 28th annual survey of holiday spending finds shoppers plan to spend 12% more on holidays this year, and two-thirds planning to shop locally at small businesses and independent retailers. “The number one reason why they’re doing it is because they want to really support their local economy. Of course, the second higher reason is looking for unique gifts and new ideas for their loved ones for the holidays,” says Deloitte vice chair Alison Paul.

There’s a new ‘F-word’ in the American Lexicon, and depending upon your positon, it means riches or ruin. ‘Fracking’–the slang term for hydraulic fracturing to enhance oil and gas well production has its fans and detractors: “Both sides over-state their arguments,” says WSJ writer, Gregory Zuckerman, in his latest book, “The Frackers.”




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