Heading into Friday's session, the Santa Claus rally has been a bit sluggish but it's still intact with the S&P 500, which has risen 75% of the time over the past 40 or so years in the span bridging the Christmas and New Years Day holidays, up 0.72% since closing at 1254 on Dec. 22. The average gain is 1.6%.
The scheduled news is unsurprisingly light with the economic calendar clear, and no notable earnings reports expected.
Sears Holdings (SHLD) could come under even more pressure though after Fitch lowered its long-term credit rating on the struggling retailer to 'CCC' from 'B' and said the outlook is negative.
"Liquidity is expected to remain adequate to fund 2012 working capital needs given current availability under the company's U.S. and Canadian facilities," the ratings agency said. "However, Sears may need to access external sources of financing to fund operations in 2013 and beyond, as the magnitude of the decline in profitability and lack of visibility to turn operations around remain a major concern."AMR Corp. (AMR), the parent company of American Airlines, will also be in focus after the New York Stock Exchange said late Thursday it plans to delist the bankrupt airline's common stock and certain debt instruments. Trading on the Big Board will be suspended as of Jan. 5, and the company said it expects the stock to move to the Pink Sheets. --Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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