- Positive tone to market talk builds
- An agreement in the Senate could come today
- Lawmakers in the House of Representatives set to convene at 18:00
- President Obama to speak at 18:30
Dow Jones Industrial: 0.25%
Nasdaq Comp.: 0.97%
S&P 500: 0.54%
The main market averages continued to edge slightly higher on Monday but on very light trading volumes. That followed on the back of rather heavy and optimistic market-chatter regarding the possibility of an agreement - at least in the Senate - that could allow the US to avoid much of the negative impact which going over the fiscal cliff might have on the economy. Nevertheless, the latest reports indicated that it may just be a sort of 'mini-deal' instead, although of a possibly more wide-ranging nature than some had thought possible.
Of particular note in that regard were the positive statements to be heard from some Republican Senators, such as Jon Llewellyn Kyl (Arizona) or Borb Corker (Tennessee) as they entered the upper chamber of Congress for today´s meetings. The former was cited as saying that a lot of progress had been made, although he was not sure that a pact could be reached tonight.
Senate Democrat minority leader Harry Reid (Nevada) on the other hand was a bit more measured in his optimism, describing talks between both sides as 'progressing.'
The House of Republicans was set to convene at 18:00 and President Obama will speak shortly, at 18:30.
Nevertheless, and as Nomura economist Lewis Alexander wrote to clients earlier in the day, any sort of 'mini-deal' would not solve three long standing problems: the need to extend payroll tax cuts, to avoid automatic spending cuts - known as "sequestration" - and to raise the debt limit (which needs to be done in the first quarter).
Precisely in that regard, Bloomberg News reports that the major sticking point now left is for how long to delay 'sequestration' coming into effect, twelve months as the White House wants or for just three more months as some Republicans are thought to prefer.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index will probably surpass its record high in 2013 as bears capitulate and the lure of a four-year bull market pulls "everyone in the pool," according to the former Salomon Brothers Inc. executive, Laszlo Birinyi, Bloomberg reports. The 69- year-old money manager says the bull market that began in March 2009 resembles advances that pushed equities up more than threefold in the 1980s and fourfold in the 1990s.
Carlyle Group and other investors agreed to buy investment- banking firm Duff & Phelps for $665.5m.
Private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was mulling a £1.8bn ($2.9bn) bid for Trader Media Group.
Cal-Maine Fooods unveiled a 39% drop in fiscal second-quarter earnings as higher feed costs hit the bottom line.
US regulators have approved Bristol-Myers Squibb´s blood thinner Eliquis for marketing.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas´s manufacturing sector index for the month of December increased to 6.8 points (Consensus: -0.5), after a reading of -2.8 for the previous month.
Long-term yields edge higher
Yields on 10 year US Treasuries were rising by 5 basis points to the 1.75% mark.
Front month West Texas crude futures are rising by 0.72% to the 91.45 dollar
mark on NYMEX.