Black Friday Possibilities and Decreased Jobless Claims Influence Market Gains (BONT, TGT, DBRN, JNJ, AMZN, TIF)

Today, the Department of Commerce released its report on New Residential Sales in October 2010. The report (found here) shows an 8.1 percent decrease in new single-family home sales from September numbers. This decline was likely influenced by a lack of home-buying tax credit incentives in 2010.

The Department of Labor announced today that initial unemployment claims dropped by 34,000 during the week of November 15th.

Many retail stocks were lifted today in anticipation of Black Friday profits. Some of the companies whose stock prices surged include Bon-Ton Stores Inc (NASDAQ: BONT), Target Corp (NYSE: TGT) and Dress Barn Inc (NASDAQ: DBRN).

Optimism about declining jobless claims and the potential for profits from Black Friday shopping seemed to lift investors’ spirits Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 150.91 points to 11,187.28. The Nasdaq was up 48.17 points to 2,543.12 and the S&P 500 rose 17.62 points to 1,198.35.

Concerns about Ireland’s debt crisis and increasing tensions between North and South Korea were apparently put out of mind by European investors on Wednesday as markets were up with the United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 gaining 1.36 percent and Germany’s DAX gaining 1.77 percent. Asian markets were mixed.

Stocks in the news: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF).