STOCKS GO NOWHERE ON DAY WHEN MEDIA PRETENDS SOMETHING IS HAPPENING: Here's What You Need To Know

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It was a quiet day to end the week and the month.  Media outlets were quick to attribute every move to fiscal cliff optimism or pessimism even as nothing happened.First the scoreboard:

Dow: 13,025, +3.7, +0.0 per cent
S&P 500: 1,416, +0.2, +0.0 per cent
NASDAQ: 3,010, -1.7, -0.0 per cent

And now the top stories:

  • Two economic reports came out this morning.  First was personal income and spending, and both components of this report were weak.  Income was unchanged, which missed economists’ expectation for a 0.2 per cent gain.  Spending unexpectedly fell; economists expected this to be flat.  Economists explained this discrepancy on Hurricane Sandy.  Presumably, economists took Sandy into account in their estimates. So the conclusion would be that Sandy was worse than we thought.
  • This wasn’t the first disappointing consumer report this week.  According to yesterday’s Q3 GDP report, personal consumption growth was slashed to +1.4 per cent from an earlier reading of +1.9 per cent.  A new Gallup report showed that holiday spending is down year-over-year.
  • The second big economic report of the day was Chicago PMI, which climbed to 50.4 from 49.9 last month.  This was just shy of the 50.5 expected by economists.  The employment subindex jumped to 55.2 from 50.3.  However, the new orders subindex plunged to 45.3 from 50.6.
  • The lead story continues to be the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, which aren’t going anywhere.  “There’s a stalemate,” said House Speaker John Boehner today.
  • Ultimately, nothing really happened today. And the markets reflected that well.
  • Don’t Miss: GOLDMAN: These 10 Stories Will Dominate Markets In 2013 >
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