Market Report: Wings Prices Drop as Heating Costs Shoot Up

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COLUMBIA - This past week on Wall Street was the worst for U.S. stocks since 2012.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 3.52 percent on this holiday shortened week down to 15,879.11, marking this its worst week since November 2011. The major index was weighed down by poor reports from IBM and DuPont with a little good news coming from Netflix's 2 million person boost in subscribers. The NASDAQ dropped 1.65 percent down to 4,128.17 and the S&P 500 fell 2.63 percent to 1,790.29.

On top of the poor market performance, it was a bad week of job losses, too. Walmart announced it's laying off 2,300 workers at Sam's Club, roughly 2 percent of the workforce, its biggest layoff since 2010. The disappointing holiday season also hit Target workers. The company announced they're laying off 475 employees at its corporate office and leaving 700 open positions unfilled. Texas Instruments also announced a job cut, losing 1,100 people worldwide.

The chilling temperatures over the past month have led to an increased demand for propane and a decrease in supply in the Midwest as people try to heat their homes. Propane heats an estimated 12 million homes in America. Nationwide prices are up 17 percent compared to last year, but in Missouri, the price is up 32 percent from 2013. Natural gas has also shot up, moving to its highest price in 4 years.

Experts say decreasing your temperature by one degree in the 60 to 70 degree range can save you three percent on heating costs.

Americans are expected to eat 1.25 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday and they'll be cheaper this year than they have been in a while. According to Bloomberg, wholesale wings sold by processors in Georgia are $1.31 per pound, which is the lowest since 2011 and 32 percent below the all-time high of $2.04, set last year. The reason for the drop is that the price of corn, which is used to feed chickens, dropped 40 percent this year.

Looking ahead to next week, new home sales come out on Monday, and then on Wednesday, the FOMC will give its report and say if the recent poor market performance will affect the taper. On Thursday, the U.S. GDP reading is due. Finally, major companies, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, are releasing quarterly earnings reports this week.

 

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