Stocks held back by fiscal-cliff worries
The major averages end the day little changed in light Veterans Day trading. Tuesday's market may open lower. Titanium Metals and Jefferies Group jump on merger announcements. Gilead Sciences rises on hopes for hepatitus treatment. Apple slips again.
(Reuters) - Stocks pushed higher Monday as bargain-hunters emerged after last week's selloff, though concerns of a drawn-out battle over the "fiscal cliff" put a cap on gains.
Barclays cut its year-end target for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) to 1,325 from 1,395, citing the government spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect early next year unless Congress acts before then.
The S&P 500 dropped 2.4% last week, the worst week for the index since June. The drop was partly propelled by concerns about whether there will be a timely solution to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the combination of tax increases and federal spending cuts set to take effect on Dec. 31.
At the close, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were flat at 12,815. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,380, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) dropped 1 point to 2,904.
The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) dropped 1 point to 2,583. Apple (AAPL), the biggest influence on the index, was off $4.23 to $542.83, its fourth loss in five days.
Though most consider it unlikely that a deal will not be reached, analysts fear going over the cliff could push the economy back into recession. There are also concerns that a protracted debate could hurt business and investment sentiment.
"It's just the uncertainty. It's going to continue to have that negative influence on any kind of small business growth or hiring or planning," said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz & Associates in Toledo, Ohio.
"You not only have it for small businesses and the like, but on the investor side, too."
Stocks traded little changed for much of the day. A late afternoon rally faded at the close. Volume was light, with the U.S. bond market and government offices closed for the Veterans Day holiday.
But futures trading early Tuesday suggests a potentially nasty open. Weighing on Asian and European markets were worries about the U.S. fiscal cliff.
Eurozone finance ministers last night postponed agreement on Greece’s long-delayed 31.3-billion euro ($40 billion U.S.) aid payment for yet another week as divisions between the International Monetary Fund and EU creditors over how fast Athens must reduce its burgeoning debt levels burst into the open.
Earnings are due from Dow components Home Depot (HD) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) as well as upscale retailers Michael Kors (KORS) and Saks (SKS) and discount retailer TJX companies (TJX).
Crude oil (-CL) settled down 50 cents to $85.57 a barrel in New York; Brent crude was down 33 cents to $109.07 a barrel in London.
Gold (-GC) settled unchanged at $1,730.90 an ounce in New York.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$85.57||$86.07||-0.78%||-13.42%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$2.9992||$3.0055||-2.06%||2.92%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$3.5700||$3.5030||-3.30%||19.44%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$2.6763||$2.6992||1.75%||0.71%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Gilead Sciences (GILD) helped pull the Nasdaq higher after the company reported over the weekend a 100% cure rate using a combination of drugs in a small number of patients with the most common and hardest to treat form of hepatitis C. Gilead was up $8.91 to $73.92.
The S&P 500 is still up about 10% for 2012, though recent months have eroded those gains. The Nasdaq has fallen for five straight weeks.
Some major acquisition news gave investors reason for optimism on Monday. Precision Castparts (PCP) ]offered to buy Titanium Metals (TIE) for $2.9 billion, while Leucadia National (LUK) agreed to buy investment bank Jefferies Group (JEF) for $3.6 billion.
Shares of Titanium surged $4.93 to $16.50 while Jefferies climbed $2 to $16.27. Precision rose $8.36 to $179.69. Leucadia fell 66 cents to $21.14.
Overseas, a report over the weekend showed China's export growth climbed to a five-month high, beating expectations and adding to recent data suggesting the country's seven straight quarters of slowing economic growth have ended.
Investors also watched the latest developments from the euro zone debt crisis. Euro zone governments will not agree to disburse more money to debt-ravaged Greece on Monday, despite the country's approving a tough 2013 budget, because there is not yet a consensus on how to make its debts sustainable into the next decade.
As a result, the region's finance ministers may have to talk again later this week.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.0900%||0.090%||-18.18%||800.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.643%||0.639%||-10.07%||-22.53%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.611%||1.613%||-4.45%||-13.90%|
|30-year Treasury bond||2.745%||2.752%||-3.72%||-4.98%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||81.106||81.098||1.40%||0.73%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.629||£0.629||1.58%||-2.19%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.27||$1.27||-1.91%||-1.87%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.787||€ 0.786||1.94%||1.90%|
|U.S. $ in yen||79.62||79.44||-0.23%||3.26%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.25||6.24||0.31%||-1.16%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$85.57||$86.070||-0.78%||-13.42%|
|U.S. bond markets were closed Monday for the Veterans Day.|
-- Charley Blaine contributed to this report.
The Fed, the SEC, and the whole Congress of these great United States of America should be brought to trial and hung for treason against the people of this country.
Worst than that, they're gonna pay it(the fine) off with the money they stole from you.
Well the Markets are up and down....No doubt about that...
But damn little chance of us putting all our retirement on red or black or a turn of a card.
I will stick with Wall St...And hopefully pick the best companies I can to invest in...??
At least get most of it right..
Not much of a sucker's rally today guy...Little volitility(sp)
So the Fiscal Clif is $607b or 3.8% of GDP. So let's breakdown the numbers. $265b of tax increases $210 for middle and $55b for top earners. $160b Budget Control Act cuts to defense and other categories. $140b in SS tax cuts and UE extensions end. $24b in Affordable Care Act taxes on passive income start. $105b in AMT taxes on table but are postponed every year. So we really have $510b in tax increases and $160b in spending cuts. The AMT will never happen. The ACA will definitely happen. The 2% SS tax cut should and will expire. The UE extensions will be extended. The $55b taxes on the top will be repealed. The $160b in spending cuts will be cut in half.
I think it would be interesting to see Tejas secede from the Union or Republic...
We would not include them in NAFTA....Build an illegal wall on their Northern borders..
No legal immigration period to the States for at least 10 years.
Figure they would be eating their own young within 5 years..
Probably a couple years after that, they would expect us to fight Mexico..ONCE AGAIN; so they could be/remain "free"......No way, Jose.
LMAO at just the thought...Yup "no child left behind", "no brains anywhere either".
Don`t worry about the fiscal cliff.It will be fixed soon and the Dow will crash throught
14,000.Then the Repubs will find something else to character assasinate Obama for.
The Fiscal Cliff has been just over the next hill for about/or almost 6 years now...
And damn funny that none of you have realized it until this past week or so....?
So your credibility is pretty much ZILCH with me; Care to discuss anything else....EXCEPT,
THE WEATHER WHERE YOU LIVE....??
Today was another test to see what kind of ****ou all have....
May the upper levels of management and all the executive board at "Houston based" Twinkies or Hostess Corporation.....Burn in Hell...
A Bain Capital type...Vulture organization such as they are; Threatening the fabric of America to have it "Their way or the Highway" and America caves with them...They are Capitalist Thugs and many of you applaud their decisions...They have made it well known, that they know how to play the numbers and they will win at any cost...A hundred year (100) old Company to go down the drain with no thoughts of any compromise....I can't wait for the same agenda to show up at the door of where you work...
It will be interesting to hear the whining from many of you....
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hold midday losses with the Russell 2000 (-0.8%) leading the retreat. Similar to the Russell 2000, the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) trails the S&P 500 (-0.2%).
Outside of the Russell 2000, equity indices have been relatively quiet through the first half of the action with many participants showing caution ahead of a busy week of economic data. Wednesday will feature the advance GDP reading for Q2 (Briefing.com consensus 3.2%) and the FOMC policy ... More
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