Thursday, December 20, 2012
The fiscal cliff continues to dominate the markets. A late day rally pushed stocks from mixed to in the green with the S&P 500 up 0.55% and the NASDAQ 0.2%. Speaker Boehner told an afternoon news conference that he planned to continue working with Obama, even as he pushed a vote on his plan to limit prospective tax hikes to incomes of more than $1 million.
- Existing home sales rose 5.9% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, reaching the highest rate since November 2009.
- Weekly jobless claims rose 17,000 to 361,000.
- Growth in third-quarter gross domestic product was revised up to 3.1% from 2.7%; however half of this was due to a large surge in federal government defense spending and inventory adjustments.
- The Philadelphia Fed index improved to a reading of positive 8.1 in December from -10.7 in November, well above the negative 4.0 reading expected.
Oil gained 0.2% to $90.13, gold fell 1.3% to $1645.90, and silver dropped 4.6% to $29.68.
European markets were very quiet with France and Germany fractionally up and Britain fractionally down.
China gained 0.3% while Japan fell 1.2% as steps taken by the Bank of Japan were not as aggressive as expected.
- The Bank of Japan added another ¥10 trillion, or about $119 billion, to its asset-purchase program.