The bulls held control of the market for most of Friday, a welcome break from the volatility that typified most of the week’s trading. Mixed-to-positive economic releases on producer prices, retail activity, and business inventories helped to instill a mostly positive tone that revealed itself in the large- and small-cap equity markets alike. At the closing bell, gaining shares had a 1.5-to-1 edge over declining issues.
Banking giant and Dow-30 member JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) tops expectations in the fourth quarter.
Business prospects for The Kroger Company (KR) are mixed. The company, along with the grocery store segment as a whole, has been dealing with some headwinds in recent quarters. These include a deflation in food prices, particularly for staples like eggs, milk, and meat, which has pressured same-store sales growth. Competition is also on the rise, as the company has to deal with both traditional competitors from the grocery sector, and non-traditional players that have been increasing their food-related revenues.