Israel’s military operations in Gaza continue to dominate front pages of major newspapers and morning talk shows. Wall Street is looking for a positive start as oil and gold prices ease back from the price spikes that followed the onset of the Israeli strikes against Hamas.
Tales from the Trail
WASHINGTON – Israeli air attacks in Gaza dominate morning talk shows and front pages of major U.S. newspapers. The attacks pushed up oil prices by more than $3 a barrel to over $40. Gold prices also moved higher. Nevertheless, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street in what is expected to be a light trading.
President George W. Bush heads to his Texas ranch for a holiday break Friday.
President-elect Barack Obama is already on vacation in Hawaii, where he paid a visit to Marines on Christmas Day.
Congress is in recess until after Jan. 1.
With the politicians away from Washington, the morning TV shows focused on other news, including the ailing economy’s performance during the holiday shopping season.
Retail sales, minus gasoline, were down 2 percent from the previous year in November and 4 percent in the Dec. 1-Dec. 24 period, MasterCard Advisor’s SpendingPulse reported.
Some retailers generate up to 40 percent of their annual revenue during the holiday period, which typically runs from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve.
Retailer hopes are now pinned on the post-Christmas sales, which began Friday.