Fiscal Cliff talks kicked off today.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 12,588.31, +45.93, +0.37%
S&P 500: 1,359.88, +6.55, +0.48%
NASDAQ: 2,853.13, +16.19, +0.57%
And now the top stories:
- Industrial production fell 0.4 per cent in October, missing expectations for a 0.2 per cent gain. Analysts had warned about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Northeast, and the Federal Reserve board said it is estimated to have reduced rate of change in total output by 1 percentage point. Millan Mulraine of TD Securities wrote: “While the drop in industrial output may have been exaggerated by the impact of hurricane Sandy, the overall tone of activity in this sector has remained tepid, reflecting the moderation in manufacturing sector activity more generally in recent months.”
- European markets were all down today. U.S markets were up briefly in the morning but began to fade early in the trading day.
- An oil rig owned by Black Elk Energy in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire today. At a press conference, the Coast Guard said 11 people were medevaced to local hospitals, and 2 people are still missing.
- Hostess Brands Inc, which makes Wonder Bread and Twinkies, is filing for bankruptcy after striking employees failed to return to work by a deadline of Thursday evening. The company said it doesn’t have the resources to cope with a nationwide strike. The company also said it “will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.” Meanwhile, the price of Twinkies soared on eBay.
- President Barack Obama and top Congressional leaders met today to begin discussing a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. After the first of the fiscal cliff talks Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell made brief statements suggesting talks had been conciliatory. Boehner sounded particularly optimistic, saying “I believe we can do this and avert the fiscal cliff that is right in front of us today.” This sent stocks surging. The ultimate guide to the fiscal cliff >
- The conflict between Israel and Hamas continued to flare up along the Gaza strip. The Israeli military has said that more than 85 rockets from Gaza have hit Israel in the past two days. 20 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since Israel killed Hamas’ military commander on Wednesday.
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