STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's What You Need To Know

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Not much news today.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,488, +17.2, +0.1 per cent
S&P 500: 1,472, -0.0, -0.0 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,125, +3.8, +0.1 per cent

And now the top stories:

  • The November U.S. trade deficit came in at $48.7 billion in November, which was much wider than the $41.8 billion expected by economists.  This was largely due to the sharp 3.8 per cent jump in imports.
  • “Despite recent weakness in investment spending ahead of the fiscal cliff, non-auto capital goods imports managed to increase in November (+$0.4 bil, 0.9%),” wrote UBS’s Kevin Coffin.  “More generally, the broad-based increases in imports suggest a fairly decent pace of consumer and capital spending through November, and perhaps some inventory building.”
  • In a report today, the National Retail Federation wrote that we should expect another spike in imports in the January data as a looming dockworkers strike is forcing retailers to accelerate their inventory shipments.  Craig Sherman of the NRF estimates that imports could jump by around 2.3 per cent.
  • In other news about balances, the Treasury Department reported that the U.S. has a budget deficit of just $260 million.  This was much narrower than the $1billion expected by economists.  It was also the narrowest December reading since 2007.
  • The debt ceiling debate continues in Washington as Congressional leaders spar on a fiscal policy deal.  Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to “take any lawful steps” to work around the debt ceiling if Congressional Republicans refuse to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.
  • Don’t Miss: Gary Shilling’s 10 favourite Investments In This Wildly Distorted Market >
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