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Stocks had another big day.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,350, +115.5, +0.8 per cent
S&P 500: 1,446, +16.4, +1.1 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,054, +43.9, +1.4 per cent
And now the top stories:
- While we’ve yet to get an actual fiscal cliff deal, it appears that negotiations are making progress. Late last night, reports surfaced that President Obama would offer to raise the threshold for tax increases to those earning $400k, up from $250k. This would be a pretty big concession as the $250k threshold was a part of his presidential campaign.
- Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner said he would introduce a bill that would include tax hikes for those making over $1 million. “We’re going to move to Plan B,” he said. “Our Plan B would protect American taxpayers who make $1 million or less.”
- In an unexpected move, private equity giant Cerberus announced that it would be selling its stake in Freedom Group, a privately held gunmaker that also owns Bushmaster. This came amid pressure from a big investor. Bushmaster’s AR-15 was reportedly one of the guns used to kill 20 children at last Friday’s tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
- Gunmakers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger got crushed today. In addition to the threat of tighter gun control laws, traders and investors may be worried that big institutional investors may be forced to dump the stocks like Cerberus dumped Bushmaster.
- Gold got slammed today on no obvious news. With stocks and long-term interest rates rising, the markets seem to be pricing in improving growth expectations. This could mean that the Fed tightens up on its monetary policy sooner than later.
- Earlier this morning we learned that the homebuilder confidence, as measured by the NAHB hit a 6-year high.
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