Daily Data Flow: Stocks Rise on Negotiation Optimism; Apple’s Future; Cold Weather Drives Apparel Sales

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Advance Amid Optimism on Budget Negotiations (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks rose, extending an eight-week high for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid signs of progress in efforts by President Barack Obama and Republicans to reach agreement on a new budget. Philip Tasho, chief investment officer at Alexandria, Virginia-based Tamro Capital Partners LLC, which manages about $1.8 billion, said in a phone interview, “Once the solutions are in the rear view mirror in terms of fiscal policy, we will simply look forward. It’s a blip in the long-term trend.”

Questions Hang Over Apple’s Long-Term Growth (CNBC)
Wall Street’s debate over how to value Apple has intensified with the iPhone maker’s stock skirting around the $500 mark on Monday as investors looked beyond strong sales figures from China and renewed speculation that Apple might launch a TV set next year to question its long-term growth prospects. Shares in Apple have lost more than a quarter of their value since September’s high of $702.10 amid a range of fundamental concerns voiced by analysts about profitability and technical trading by short-term investors. “Despite the news from the weekend, the China story remains a big question mark,” said Colin Gillis, tech analyst at BGC Partners. “That’s just a drop in the bucket of what they need to achieve there.”

Jack Frost Arrives Just in Time to Save Retailers’ Holiday (CNBC)
A winter storm is expected to hit the Midwest later this week, according to the Weather Channel. As the storm’s snow and cold rain blow through the region on Thursday and Friday, it will leave behind frigid, but dry weather for the weekend, exactly what retailers need right now. Last year’s mild weather was terrible for specialty apparel chains and department stores, said Paul Walsh, vice president of Weather Analytics at the Weather Channel. It was one of the warmest on record, and retailers got stuck with lots of extra cold weather gear, which was marked down. Walsh said he expects the coming weather this year to translate to strong sales of winter apparel. “By the time the storm will be gone, it will be bitter cold,” he said. “The abrupt shift will make it feel really cold.”

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