Stocks quietly tumbled today.
First the scoreboard:
And now the top stories:
- Fiscal cliff negotiations continue to go nowhere. "President Obama wants to pretend spending isn't the problem," said House Speaker John Boehner early in the U.S. trading session. "That's why we don't have an agreement." Here's The Fiscal Cliff Nightmare Scenario >
- Stocks were down for most of the day, but losses were cut in half on reports that President Obama would meet with Speaker Boehner at the White House at 5 PM today.
- In a post this morning, market guru Ed Yardeni suggested postponing the fiscal cliff for a year. He noted that the pace of government outlays were slowing as receipts were picking up. He suggests it's possible that economic growth on its own could close the federal deficit.
- Morgan Stanley's Global Economics team published their list of Macro Surprises for 2013 today. These scenarios are not part of Morgan Stanley's base case assumptions, but "depict plausible possible outcomes that would represent a meaningful surprise to the prevailing consensus." Chief U.S. economist Vincent Reinhart submitted his fiscal cliff surprise: "US over the cliff and likes it."
- Initial weekly jobless claims fell to 343k, which was lower than the 369k expected by economists. This was down from last week's reading of 370k. The four-week moving average fell to 381.5k. These were all welcome developments.
- Retail sales climbed by 0.3 percent in November, which was below the 0.5 percent growth expected. Excluding autos and gas, sales climbed 0.7 percent,which was stronger than the 0.4 percent gain expected.
- Inflation, as measured by the producer price index fell 0.8 percent in November, which was more than the 0.5 percent decline expected by economists. Excluding food and energy, prices inflation climbed by just 0.1 percent, which was right in line with expectations. These tame inflation numbers are welcome news as the Federal Reserve continues to extend its aggressive monetary policy.
- Don't Miss: Investing Legend Byron Wien Predicted 10 Big Surprises For 2012 — Here's How They Actually Did >
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