Archive for December, 2010

Costco November same-store sales up 9 percent

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 | Finance News

BANGALORE (Reuters) – Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) posted a 9 percent rise in November sales at store open at least a year, helped by higher gasoline prices and strengthening foreign currencies.

The largest U.S. warehouse club company, which operates 582 warehouses across the world, recorded 13 percent same-store sales growth at its international segment in the month.

Analysts were expecting same-store sales to rise 6.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

For the four weeks ended November 28, net sales at Issaquah, Washington-based Costco rose 12 percent to $6.78 billion.

(Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore; Editing by Hans Peters)

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ECB hopes lift stocks, stabilizes euro

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 | Finance News

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LONDON (Reuters) – World stocks rose for a second straight day on Thursday while the euro sat on the previous day's gains as expectations grew the European Central Bank might deliver measures to alleviate worries over euro zone debt.

The euro posted its biggest one-day rise in more than a month on Wednesday while yield spreads of peripheral issues over German bunds tightened as hopes grew for decisive steps to stop the crisis from spreading to larger economies such as Spain.

Analysts cautioned there was scope for disappointment, saying the ECB was unlikely at this stage to expand its bond purchase program.

"The focus is on whether (ECB President Jean-Claude) Trichet will announce a numerical target for bond purchases," said Roberto Mialich, currency strategist at Unicredit in Milan.

"If he keeps to saying they are ready to buy more bonds but without a numerical target, the markets will be disappointed and turn negative on the euro."

MSCI world equity index (.MIWD00000PUS) rose 0.6 percent to a one-week high, having hit its weakest level in nearly two months earlier this week.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) rose a quarter percent while emerging stocks (.MSCIEF) gained one percent.

U.S. crude oil was up 0.1 percent to $86.87 a barrel, staying near a three-week peak.

Bund futures fell 33 ticks.

The euro was steady at $1.3135 after jumping to $1.3183 on Wednesday from an 11-week low on Tuesday. The dollar (.DXY) was steady against a basket of major currencies.

"The most important point is the credibility of these (the euro zone peripheral) countries and for them to become fiscally sustainable in the relevant time horizon, and there's a parallel banking system issue, as we've seen in Ireland," said Bernard McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

"The debt crisis is the only thing that is stopping the market breaking higher. The economic data from the States is increasingly reassuring."

Main U.S. equity indexes Dow and the S&P 500 scored their biggest gains in three months on Wednesday.

Stronger-than-expected U.S. private sector jobs data lifted optimism for the country's labor market, seen as one of the weakest parts of the economy.

(Additional reporting by Tamawa Desai; editing by Patrick Graham)

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GM says China sales up 11 percent in November

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 | Finance News

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SHANGHAI – General Motors Co. says its sales in China climbed 11 percent in November from a year earlier, on strong demand for its Buick and Chevrolet models.

GM said Thursday that the 196,990 vehicles sold by GM and its ventures in China set a monthly record, as the company's 2010 sales in the world's biggest vehicle market shot past the 2 million mark.

GM's China sales rose 32.7 percent in January-November, a bit lower than the overall growth in China's passenger car sales so far this year.

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