The Cost of Doing Business

Wayne Ellis

[unhappy Christmas shopper]

The Cost of Doing Business (

Target will try to fix the public relations damage done by the theft of 40 million debit and credit cards by awarding those card holders a 10 percent discount on all merchandise purchased in-store during this holiday season. In addition, the Minneapolis-based retailing giant is also offering free credit monitoring to the victims of this theft. However, in order to minimize the potential damage, Target is capping the maximum amount for which those cards can be used to make purchases at $300 in debit charges and $100 in cash withdrawals. And, unfortunately, there are a number of different companies whose purchases are exempt from this discount, including: Apple, Bose, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. Anyone who used a credit card at Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 is supposed to be eligible to use these benefits, but the actual use of said benefits has been slight, at best. As for investors, there really was no appreciable dip in Target’s stock price since the theft was discovered.

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It looks like this year's Santa Claus rally has kicked in, right on time as the Dow Jones rose 2.97% and the S&P 500 was up 2.42% over the past five days. But much like the rest of the world, Santa Claus seems to ignoring emerging markets, as the MCSI Emerging Markets Index tumbled 1.15%. Big gainers in your Bull Market Alert portfolio included Trina Solar Limited (TSL), which jumped 11.98%; the ProShares Ultra Russell2000 (UWM), which added 6.58%


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