STOCKS FALL: Here's What You Need To Know

snowboard fall

Photo: U.S. Army Alaska via flickr

The fiscal cliff stalemate weighed on stocks today.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,139.708, -51.76, -0.39%
S&P 500: 1,426.66, -3.49, -0.24%
Nasdaq: 3,012.60, -8.41, -0.28%

Now, the top stories:

  • As we inch closer to the fiscal cliff deadline, some policymakers say they now expect a small-scale patch. Michael Block of Phoenix Partners said, “Didn’t really hear much more than resignation out of DC this weekend. We need a patch at this point and that’s enough.” Congress is expected to reconvene on Thursday to pick up fiscal cliff negotiations. The Congressional Budget Office has warned that if the U.S. economy goes over the fiscal cliff it will enter a recession in the first half of 2013. The 60 best stock picks for 2013 >
  • A Canadian subsidiary of Chevron is buying into two shale-gas fields in Western Canada and a facility to transport the gas to Asia. The Wall Street Journal estimates the deal will total $1.3 billion.
  • Markets opened modestly lower this morning but started cracking in the final hour of the trading day, with the Dow falling as much as 58 points. 
  • After Bill Ackman shorted Herbalife, its CEO Michael Johnson said he didn’t have enough time to spell out all of the inaccuracies in Ackman’s thesis. Herbalife has now hired Moelis & Co. as a strategic adviser, and its stock is down over 4.5 per cent today.
  • J.C. Penney’s stock is up 1.5 per cent today after Oppenheimer’s Brian Nagel and Rupesh Parikh reiterated their “Buy” rating on the stock in a note to clients. The analysts said J.C. Penney stores saw strong traffic during the weekend before Christmas and they think the retailer’s new promotions strategy will help it through the holidays and into next year. The best investments of 2012 >
  • The bond market will close at 2 p.m. ET today. All U.S. markets will remain closed tomorrow for Christmas.

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