COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

The global financial markets took quite a hit following the U.S. elections last Tuesday. It is estimated the global markets lost more than $1 trillion in value as questions remain how the Obama administration and Congress will act in dealing with the much-discussed fiscal cliff. The Dow Industrials did post a very small gain of Friday -- four points -- and were down 278 points for the week, mostly on big losses Wednesday and Thursday. The index has now been down three weeks in a row. This week the markets will react to key reports on inflation and retail sales.

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Speaking of retail sales, two more big box companies have announced they will open for business on Thanksgiving evening to capture bargain hungry shoppers. Target said this morning it will open for business at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening. Kathee Tesija, executive VP of marketing at Target said, "We heard from our guests that they look forward to kicking off their holiday shopping with deal hunting on Thanksgiving night." And, Toys "R" Us will open its doors at 8 p.m. at its locations nationwide. "Our customers love the thrill of Black Friday shopping and equally enjoy getting an early start on their search for the best deals," said Peter Reiner, senior VP of sales.

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For some reason the financial markets are open for business on this Veterans Day. Activity is very slow and the markets are little changed. Despite the losses last week, Sam Stovall of S&P Capital IQ said, "Following an incumbents re-election, the S&P 500 has traditionally advanced 1.2 percent in price in November, 2.7 percent in December and 3.7 percent in the November-through-December period."

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Homebuilder D.R. Horton reported solid sales and profits in the past quarter with improvements in net homes sold, homes closed, and home sales gross margin. "We are positioned for a strong start to fiscal 2013, with our highest year-end backlog since fiscal 2007. We have continued to see strong sales demand through October and November," said chairman Donald R. Horton.
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San Diego-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has announced this morning it has been selected by the U.S. Naval Education and Training Command to develop and implement a training program for the U.S. Naval Chaplaincy School and Center. The contract is valued at $1.5 million.
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There's some real discrepancy about how much it will cost to put a traditional Thanksgiving meal on the table this year. The most reliable source, the American Farm Bureau, estimates it will cost $49.20 to feed a group of 10 people. That's not $49.20 per person, that represents the cost of a 16-pound turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, green peas and, of course, the pumpkin pie. However, a separate survey by CouponCabin.com says the average cost to host a Thanksgiving dinner nationwide is $246. People here in the West expect they will have to spend $495 to feed their family and friends. The survey also found one out of 10 people said they will not host a Thanksgiving event because of the rising costs. Maybe they should talk to the folks at the farm bureau.
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Regrets to all the Chargers fans out there. Once again the boys in powder blue played just bad enough to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. It's too bad the game didn't end at half time or Rivers would have been a hero. Instead, one really bad pass ruined the game and questioned his abilities to lead the team for some fans. Well, there's always next year.

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