Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
An investor smiles in front of the stock price monitor at a private securities company Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 in Shanghai, China. Asian stock markets rose Tuesday after talks over Greece's financial crisis ended with an agreement on how to reduce its debt load, paving the way for the cash-strapped country to receive the next installment of a bailout loan. (AP Photo)
Stocks slide on ‘fiscal cliff’ warning
First Published Nov 27 2012 07:10 am • Last Updated Nov 29 2012 11:42 am

New York • Stocks slumped on Wall Street Tuesday after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was frustrated by the lack of progress in talks over the U.S. budget impasse in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 89.24 points to 12,878.13. The Dow and other indexes had been moving between small gains and losses for most of the day, then turned lower after Reid’s comments in the early afternoon.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We have to get away from the happy talk and start talking about specific things," Reid told reporters in televised comments.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 lost 7.35 points to 1,398.94 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 8.99 points to 2,967.79.

Worries about the budget talks have been hanging over the stock market for weeks. Stocks slumped immediately after the Nov. 6 election over concerns that politicians would be unable to reach a deal to trim the deficit before a Jan. 1 deadline.

If that deadline isn’t met, under current law a series of sharp tax increases and spending cuts will come into effect. Economists have warned that the measures could push the economy back into a recession. That deadline has come to be known as the "fiscal cliff."

"The markets are getting whipped around, rather sharply, on headlines," said Sal Arnuk, co-founder at Themis Trading. "For example, Harry Reid feeling we’re not making enough progress on the fiscal cliff."

Last week stocks pared some of the losses that followed the election. President Barack Obama plans to make a public case this week for his strategy for dealing with the issue as he pressures Republicans to allow tax increases on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for families earning $250,000 or less.

The S&P declined as much as 5 percent in the weeks after voters returned a divided government to power, with President Barack Obama returning to the White House and Republicans retaining control of the House.

Earlier in the day, investors took little comfort from the latest deal to deliver financial aid to Greece and increases in U.S. consumer confidence and orders for machinery and equipment.


story continues below
story continues below

While stocks have gained this year as the Federal Reserve has maintained it bond-buying stimulus program, concern about global growth and the budget fight in Washington may limit further advances, said Uri Landesman, President of Platinum Partners, a New York-based hedge fund. The S&P is up 11 percent this year, the Dow 5 percent.

"The glass is half-empty right now," Landesman said.

The S&P rose as high as 1,465 in September, the highest in almost five years, after the Federal Reserve said it would extend its so-called quantitative easing program and buy more bonds. The program is intended to lower borrowing costs and stimulate hiring.

Two reports that suggested that the outlook for the U.S. economy may be improving failed to encourage investors to push stocks higher.

Consumer confidence rose this month to the highest level in almost five years, pushed up by steady improvement in hiring. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. Both are the best readings since February 2008.

The government reported separately that U.S. companies increased their orders of machinery and equipment last month, a sign that business investment is rising. Orders rose 1.7 percent in October, the best showing since a 2.3 percent rise in May.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 1.65 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves:

—ConAgra advanced $1.34, or 4.7 percent, to $29.63 after it agreed to buy Ralcorp for $5 billion in a deal that will make it the nation’s biggest maker of private-label foods. Ralcorp surged $18.57, or 26.4 percent, to $88.80.

—Corning Inc., a specialty glass maker, rose 78 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $12.13 after it said that North American television sales are stronger than expected in the fourth quarter, boosting demand for its products.

— Las Vegas Sands Corp. rose $2.33, or 5.3 percent, to $46.36 after the casino operator said it would pay a special dividend of $2.75 per share, distributing about $2.26 billion to shareholders before the end of the year.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.