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Market Preview: Hurry Up and Agree

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Judging by Wednesday's 200-point plus turnaround in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, investors are buying into the idea that Democrats and Republicans will be able to come together this holiday season and stop short of the fiscal cliff.

That's especially good news for the economy because a speedy resolution will go a long ways toward getting small businesses back in the spending mood. Deutsche Bank pointed out that how important that is for the economy in a note to clients Wednesday.

"There is ample evidence that the fiscal cliff is already having a meaningful impact on business sentiment, especially small businesses which account for nearly 75% of hiring in the US," the firm said. "In the latest NFIB survey, 39% of small businesses indicated that government regulations and taxes were their number one concern, eclipsing 'poor sales' which has been their main issue for most of the past four years."

As for Thursday's scheduled news, Barnes & Noble (BKS - Get Report) is slated to report its third-quarter results before the opening bell, and the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a loss of 11 cents a share on revenue of $1.91 billion.

Shares of the New York-based book seller, which completed its Nook digital reader partnership with Microsoft (MSFT) in early October, are up roughly 11% so far in 2012, but based on Wednesday's closing price of $16.05, the stock remains well below its 52-week high of $26 on April 30.

The sell side is bearish with five of the seven analysts covering the stock at either hold (4) or underperform (1), and the 12-month median price target of $17 implying limited upside from current levels.

Other companies due to report early Thursday include Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL), Frontline Ltd. (FRO), Gildan Activewear (GIL), Isle of Capri Casinos (ISLE), Kroger (KR), LTX-Credence Corp. (LTXC), and Tiffany & Co. (TIF).

The late roster features Aeropostale (ARO - Get Report), Christopher & Banks (CBK), Five Below (FIVE), Mentor Graphics (MENT), Omnivision Technologies (OVTI), Pacific Sunwear of California (PSUN), Splunk (SPLK), Ulta Salon (ULTA), Youku (YOKU), and Zumiez (ZUMZ).

Thursday's economic calendar includes weekly initial and continuing jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET; the second estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. ET; and pending home sales for October at 10:30 a.m. ET.
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