Equities Give Up Afternoon Gains to Close Red
Stocks finished the session lower once again, as the fiscal cliff once again dominated any other data point. We did get some good news on the earnings front, with home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. (HD) posting better than expected results. Outside of corporate specific news, the economic calendar was clear. I love the fiscal cliff countdown that they have going over at MarketWatch…not like they are trying to roil the markets or anything. I am not making any predictions. I thought that there was no way that Congress would not raise the debt ceiling. 48 days and counting! Major averages did spend most of the day in the green before succumbing to continued negative market sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 58.90 points, or 0.5%, to close at 12,756.18, with 24 of the 30 blue chips in the red. The S&P 500 Index lost 5.50 points, or 0.4%, to close at 1,374.53, with technology and financials weighing on the broader market. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite Index 20.37 points, or 0.7%, to 2,883.89.
Crude oil for December delivery fell by 50 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $85.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Slight strength in the greenback sent gold lower as the precious metal fell $6.10, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,724.80 an ounce.