STOCKS FALL: Here’s What You Need To Know

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Markets closed lower today.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,135, -35.7, -0.2 per cent
S&P 500: 1,413, -5.8, -0.4 per cent
NASDAQ: 2,971, -20.8, -0.7 per cent

And now the top stories:

  • A gunman killed at least 27 people, including at least 18 children during a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Follow our ongoing coverage here >
  • Today’s sad news overshadowed some positive economic data.  We learned that industrial production jumped 1.1 per cent in November, which was much higher than the 0.3 per cent growth expected by economists.
  • The US Flash PMI report unexpectedly jumped to 54.2 in December, up from 52.4 last month.  Economists were expecting the measure to fall to 51.8.  This was welcome news.  For weeks, much of the economic data has reflected corporate reluctance to spend ahead of any fiscal cliff deal.
  • The November reading of the consumer price index (CPI) came in a bit cooler than expected.  CPI fell by 0.3 per cent.  Excluding food and energy, CPI climbed by just 0.1 per cent.  On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said that it would keep interest rates exceptionally low as long as the inflation rate stayed below 2.5 per cent and the unemployment rate was above 6.5 per cent.  Today’s low CPI report will confirms that the Fed still has flexibility to stay on its easy monetary policy path.
  • Among the notable losers today was Apple. UBS analyst Steve Milunovich cut his price target on the iPhone-maker to $700 from $780.  Milunovich cited supply chain sources who suggested that iPhone sales would be weaker than expected. Companies along Apple’s supply chain also got slammed today.
  • Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg offered his thoughts on the markets for 2013, and he thinks stocks will probably be flat for the year.  “”Within the equity market, to me it is again going to be about screening for dividend growth, yield and coverage in sectors with defensive characteristics,” he wrote. “Can’t get into specifics but certainly you can short companies that are borrowing to fund their dividend policies.”  GOLDMAN: Here Are Our Top 7 Trades For 2013 >
  • Don’t Miss: JACK BOGLE: Here Are The 6 Books That Every Investor Must Read >
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