Wednesday, December 19, 2012
U.S. stocks gave back a good portion of yesterday's gains as political wrangling over the fiscal cliff continued. Worries about a step back from what appeared to be a year end solution caused a selloff; the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the NASDAQ 0.3%. In corporate news the government announced it would exiting its investment in General Motors in the next 12-15 months.
- Ratings agency Fitch reiterated it may strip the U.S. of its AAA credit rating if Washington is unable to strike a deal soon to avert the fiscal cliff.
- The Census Bureau said housing starts fell 3% in November to an annual rate of 861,000.
Oil had a strong day, up 1.8% to $89.51. Gold fell 0.2% to $1667.30 while silver dropped 1.75% to $31.12.
France and Britain both gained 0.4% while Germany added 0.2%. The euro rose over $1.33 for the first time since April, althought it closed below.
- The German Ifo business confidence index rose for the second straight month to 102.4 in December. Economists had expected a result of 102.0.
Japan continued to rally as the Bank of Japan is expected to announce an increase in its asset-purchase program on Thursday. The Nikkei added 2.4% while China was down fractionally.