All signs are green for stock averages today after seven straight weeks of gains. While Congress may be deeply skeptical about the temporary uranium enrichment deal reached by the US and other world powers with Iran, the initial reaction from financial markets is positive. Iran has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves, but its exports have been sharply reduced by sanctions. A long-term agreement would ease tensions in the oil-rich Middle East and likely add to global oil supply. France's foreign minister says sanctions against Iran could be partially lifted as soon as December.
It's the start of a holiday-shortened trading week and investors are fired up. The S&P 500 index closed above 1,800 for the first time on Friday. The Dow also continued its upward march after finishing above 16,000 for the first time Thursday. Stock market averages are on track to post their strongest annual gains in 15 years. The Dow Jones industrials have gained 25 percent since Jan. 1.
The holiday shopping season has arrived and retailers are nervous. Millions of consumers will be out in force on Black Friday. Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and some other big retailers plan to launch their big sales early, opening on Thanksgiving Day. Back-to-school sales numbers were tepid in August, while consumer confidence has fallen since the summer. Both trends have led to gloomy holiday shopping forecasts.
Despite the expected rush on Black Friday, most shoppers will not get many bargains. "What we found in the past is that many of these deals will eventually be offered online either from the same store or from a competitor," says Lindsay Sakraida of Dealnews.com. "It's really not necessary to go unless you want something very specific."
Boeing is soliciting bids from more than a dozen sites that want to build the new 777X airplane and add thousands of jobs. Boeing says it hopes to make a final decision early next year. In a separate move, the plane manufacturer has told airlines that some of the new Dreamliner jets with General Electric engines should bypass thunderstorms as a precautionary measure because of icing. The statement is the latest advisory on the 787 that was grounded earlier this year.
More than one million Xbox One's were sold in its first day on the market. Microsoft released its newest gaming console in 13 nations on Friday. But the launch wasn't without problems. Some users complained that the console was having trouble reading game disks.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow