Markets Lower Closing News 12/24/2012

Stocks closed lower in abbreviated trading today on worries that lawmakers may not be able to resolve budget negotiations before year end.  Investors were faced with uncertainty, as discussions over a fiscal cliff resolution was stalled while politicians were away for a short holiday vacation. Congress will resume talks when they return to Washington on Thursday.  The Dow closed down 51.76 to 13,139.08.      

Market Indices/Statistics:

  • Dow closed down 51.76 pts/- 0.39% to 13,139.08; 26 of the 30 Dow stocks closed lower

  • S&P closed down 3.49 pts/- 0.24% to 1,426.66;  7 of the 10 S&P 500 sectors closed lower

  • Nasdaq closed down 8.41pts/-0.28% to 3,012.60

  • Materials were the most positive sector (+0.47%) and Energy was the most negative sector (-0.72%)

  • The VIX ended up 0.74 to 18.58

  • Oil is down $0.05  to $88.61

  • Nat Gas closed down $0.088 to $3.413

  • Gold is down $0.40 to $1,659.70

  • Euro vs. Dollar is down 0.0002 to $1.3185

  • Dollar vs. Yen is up $0.63 at $84.84


 Top Headlines:

Microsoft (MSFT -0.46/ - 1.67% to 27.06) was weaker today following a New York Times report saying that it has not seen an uptick in demand for personal computers following the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

The London Stock Exchange lowered its offer for LCH Clearnet by a 25% to $482M after new capital requirements make the company  which is owned by the world's major banks, the LME, and NYSE Euronext, less valuable.   The original offer in March was valued at $613M. 

Egypt’s long-term credit rating was lowered by one level to B-, six steps below investment grade, with a negative outlook, S&P said today.   This rating is the same junk level as Greece and Pakistan, may face more downgrades should political instability result “in a sharp deterioration of economic indicators such as foreign exchange reserves or the government’s deficit,” S&P said.

American investors, haunted by the financial crisis over the past 4 years, have withdrawn money from the stock market and may have missed out on almost $200 billion of stock market gains.  Individuals cut their percentage of assets in stocks to 72% from 72.5% in 2009.   This is the first decline in 20 years.  The percentage of households owning stock mutual funds has also fallen, dropping every year since 2008 to 46.4% in 2011. 

Coming Wednesday:

 Economic Reports:  S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index (Est. 145.93) 9:00am; Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index (Est.  7) 10:00am. 

Earnings Wednesday:  Stien Mart Inc. (Est. - $0.09); Emcore Corp. (Est. -$0.03)

In observance of the Christmas holiday, the NYSE, NYSE MKT, NYSE Arca, NYSE Arca Options, NYSE Amex Options, NYBX and NYSE Bonds exchanges will be closed on Tuesday, December 25, 2012.   

Merry Christmas.


Carmen Barone

Corporate Actions & Market Watch

Global Corporate Client Group

NYSE Euronext


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