Car sales expected to hit 8-year high this month, Shake Shack to IPO and Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) to place recall

Markets were moving slightly higher on Monday, as trading volume remained light over the holidays. Cars.com released a report that shows the company predicts car sales to hit an eight-year high in December. This report showed that sinking gas prices are helping to fuel demand for SUV’s and trucks. They are predicting that sales will top last year’s by 11.3%, or about 1.5 million. Jesse Toprak, chief analyst with Cars.com, said, “New-car sales are finishing the year on a high note, with total industry sales expected to exceed 16.5 million units in 2014. Bolstered by low gas prices, SUV and full-size truck sales have been particularly strong this month – even beyond normal seasonality.” They are also predicting sales for 2015 to hit 17.1 million.

The popular burger chain, Shake Shack, announced that they would be heading towards an initial public offering, in hopes to raise about $100 million. The fast-food company is a made-to-order burger restaurant that is known for providing fresh and natural ingredients, such as hormone and antibiotic free beef. There are currently 63 burger chains throughout the world. Last year, the company posted revenue of $84.5 million, which jumped up 45% from the previous year. They posted profits of $5.4 million in 2013, topping 2012’s revenue by 31%.

Shares of Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) were trading lower after the company announced that the former Chrysler unit would be recalling 66,819 pickup trucks for a clutch problem. The issue has become a global as the recall issue has been linked to one death. The vehicles being recalled were manufactured between 2006 and 2007 and involve certain Dodge Dakotas, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500, and Mitsubishi Raider pickups. The issue stems from a clutch interlock switch that was made with different wire from previous switches. This particular wire could break and cause the truck not to start, or movement when the truck’s ignition key is turned. They company plans on beginning to alert owners on February 13, 2015.

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Research

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