Thursday, December 27, 2012
It was quite a ride Thursday as politicians continued to dominate the environment for the markets. U.S. stocks initially fell sharply on comments from Senator Reid saying that it was likely the U.S. would go over the fiscal cliff, rallied briefly when Senator Brown of MA said he was set to look at a new proposal by Obama (which later was denied) and then rallied sharply from deep losses in the last hour after Boehner called the House back for a session Sunday evening. In the end both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 fell 0.1%, staving off large losses earlier in the day with the big move up in the last hour.
- The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer confidence in December fell to 65.1 as the budget crisis dented growing optimism about the economy. The gauge fell more than expected from 71.5 in November.
- Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 last week and the four-week moving average fell to the lowest since March 2008.
- The Commerce Department said new home sales 4.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted 377,000-unit annual rate. That was in line with analysts' forecasts of a 378,000-unit annual pace. However, its estimate for sales in October was cut by 7,000 to a 361,000-unit rate.
Oil fell 0.1% to $90.87, gold added 0.2% to $1663.70, while silver gained 0.7% to $30.24.
German shares gained 0.3%, French shares 0.6%, while British shares were up fractionally.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.9% to the highest level since March 10, 2011, the day before the country was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami. China's Shanghai index dropped 0.6%.