This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Stocks Pare Losses as House Plans to Convene on 'Fiscal Cliff'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks pared losses on plans by the House of Representatives to meet over the weekend to hammer out a proposal to avert the so-called fiscal-cliff deadline of Dec. 31.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each declined by only 0.1% after suffering losses of more than 1% earlier in the day, when Senate leader Harry Reid said Republicans are stalling in finding a solution.

"I don't know time-wise how it can happen now," said Reid, a Democrat, on the Senate floor in Washington. He said House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, both Republicans, are causing a stalemate. "Democrats can't put together a plan on their own because, without participation of Leader McConnell and Speaker Boehner, nothing can happen on the fiscal cliff."

The Senate resumed its work today after breaking for Christmas. Obama has urged Congress to put together an interim plan to ward off tax increases and spending cuts that would be triggered if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he will do all he can to create a cushion for lawmakers. After the stock market closed Wednesday, he said in a letter to Reid that the federal government will reach its $16.394 trillion statutory debt limit on Dec. 31.

Geithner said the Treasury is planning "extraordinary measures" to postpone defaulting on $200 billion in bond payments and create some "headroom" for Washington beyond New Year's Day.

The president now has four days before the deadline, which prompted the House to convene over the weekend, a rare event. Economists say going off the fiscal cliff could lead to a recession, as growth is sluggish and business owners are cautious about hiring.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 18 points, or 0.1%, to 13,096.31, as of the close at 4 p.m. New York time.

The S&P 500 fell 1.7 points, or 0.1%, to 1,418.10. The Nasdaq dropped 4.3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,985.91.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes jobless claims, new-home sales and consumer confidence.

The number of Americans who applied for jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to 350,000 in the week ended Dec. 22, the Labor Department said. Economists forecast 360,000. Some of the claims were estimated because of the Christmas holiday.

In another report, new-home sales rose 4.4% to a 377,000 annual pace after a revised 361,000 in October, the Commerce Department said. That was the most since April 2010, another sign the housing market is rebounding.

Still, U.S. consumer confidence dropped to 65.1 in December from a revised 71.5 last month, according to the Conference Board.

Gold for February delivery was up $4.30 at $1,663.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, reversing earlier losses. February crude oil contracts were up 16 cents to $91.14 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was trading at 1.72%, down 3 basis points. The U.S. dollar index was at 79.64.

Among the most active stocks was Marvell Technology Group (MRVL), which was ordered by a judge to pay $1.17 billion for infringing patents on integrated-circuit technology held by Carnegie Mellon University. The stock fell 26 cents, or 3.5%, to $7.14.

Other big movers were Bank of America (BAC), Ford (F), Research In Motion (RIMM), Nokia (NOK) and Marvell.

Bank of America dropped 0.6%, Ford slipped 0.2%, Research In Motion declined 0.6%, and Nokia decreased 1.2%.

Bank of America, Ford and Research In Motion were among the biggest gainers Wednesday.

-- Written by Parris Kellermann

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $95.18 1.64%
FB $117.43 -0.96%
GOOG $692.36 -0.84%
TSLA $232.32 -3.92%
YHOO $36.01 -1.42%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,750.91 -140.25 -0.78%
S&P 500 2,063.37 -18.06 -0.87%
NASDAQ 4,763.2240 -54.37 -1.13%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs