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Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief

December 31, 2013, 1:26 PM

Tuesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Stocks headed higher in afternoon trading as investors close out their positions on the last day of 2013. The S-and-P 500 index is headed for its best annual return since 1997. Traders worked through a report that showed U.S. consumer confidence rose far more than expected in December.
  • The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market, and bond and commodities markets will be closed on New Year's Day. The first day of trading for 2014 will be Thursday; however, activity is not expected to pick up until next week.
  • More problems for Target. The nation's second-largest discount retailer says an unidentified number of gift cards sold over the holidays were not properly activated. Target says the number of cards affected was less than 0.1 percent of the total sold, and that it will honor the affected cards. The problem comes on the heels of Target's massive data security breach that affected about 40 million debit and credit card holders.
  • Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has confirmed that it expects layoffs at the upper end of a range that it outlined earlier this year. Five-thousand more workers than originally planned are expected to lose jobs by next October.
  • Revlon says it's leaving China and cutting 1,100 jobs as part of a cost-cutting measure. Most of the jobs cuts will be in China. Revlon's operations there make up only 2 percent of the company's sales, which have been declining.

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