The fiscal cliff seems to be moving, perhaps in the right direction.
First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,034, +82.7, +0.6 percent
S&P 500: 1,409, +2.2, +0.1 percent
NASDAQ: 2,973, -22.9, -0.7 percent
And now the top stories:
- A little after noon today, Bloomberg reported that several Republican "defectors" were ready to sign a letter endorsing a compromise on the fiscal cliff. According to the report, Texas Representative Kay Granger is endorsing Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole's call to extend tax-cuts for the middle-class. Markets instantly spiked on the news.
- It's jobs week in America. The ADP jobs report fell to 118k in November from 158k in October. This was slightly below the 125k economists were expecting. As expected, the decline was largely blamed on Hurricane Sandy. "According to the ADP press release, Superstorm Sandy subtracted an estimated 86k jobs from payrolls in November; ex Sandy ADP payrolls rose 204k," wrote UBS economist Maury Harris.
- The ISM Non-Manufacturing (i.e. services) index unexpectedly climbed to 54.7 in November from 54.2 in October. This was better than the 53.5 expected. According to a separate report from the Census, factory orders jumped 0.8 percent in October; economists expected no growth.
- Mining behemoth Freeport-McMoRan is got crushed after the company announced this morning that it would acquire McMoRan Exploration Co. (MMR) and Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP).
- Apple fell 6 percent. There was a report circulating that clearing firms are raising margin requirements on the stock for clients. In other words, there was no major obvious news to move the stock.
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