4:30 PM, New York – U.S. stocks halted two-day slide and gained on the hopes after lawmakers offered willingness to work together to avert fast approaching fiscal cliff. For the week, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite index dropped 2.4%.
World markets shift attention to unresolved U.S. and European debt problems after the U.S. elections and consumer confidence index increased to a five-year high.
Recently reelected President Barack Obama invited Congressional leaders to budget discussions next week to avert the upcoming fiscal cliff. In his first public comments at the White House since winning re-election and reiterated any final solution must include program spending cuts and increasing tax revenues including raising taxes on the richest tax filers.
In economic news, consumer sentiment index tracked by University of Michigan in November to 84.9 from 82.6 in October.
On the merger front, Priceline.com agreed to buy Kayak Software in a $1.8 billion cash and stock deal. Moneygram swung to third quarter loss. J.C. Penney quarterly sales drop 26%.
In the earnings news, Array plans to raise $18.4 million in a secondary offering. J. C. Penney loss narrowed and comparable store sales plummeted 26.1%. Groupon third quarter loss narrowed. Priceline.com agreed to buy Kayak Software for $1.8 billion. Walt Disney fourth quarter net climbed 14%.
The European indexes edged lower to a 2-week low and Greece stepped closer to winning the next tranche of bailout after approving in a narrow vote €13.5 billion of austerity measures. IAG plans to slash 4,500 jobs in its Iberia unit.
German consumer prices climbed and Norwegian inflation rose in October. French, Italian, and Swedish industrial production fell in September.
Allianz revenues rose 4.7% to €25.2 billion and Crédit Agricole slips to loss in the third quarter. Smartrac nine-month revenues increased 36% to €189 million. BMW October sales increased 13.2% to 157,618 units.
The UK indexes slid after deficit narrowed to £2.7 billion in September and construction output fell 2.6% in the third quarter. Diageo agreed to acquire 53.4% stake in India-based United Spirits Limited. Warner Chilcott third quarter revenue fell 7%.
Stocks in Tokyo declined for the fifth day and fell to a 4-week low as investors worry slowing global economic outlook and rising debt worries in the U.S. and the euro zone. Nexon and Sumitomo Rubber declined on weaker outlook. Gungho Online soared 13%.
Australian stocks closed lower and indexes closed flat for the week. Once in a decade change in Chinese leadership prompted worries of shifting priorities to consumption from infrastructure development.
Commodities, Bonds and Currencies
U.S. treasury yield on 10-year bond decreased to 1.62% and on 30-year bond fell to 2.76%.
The U.S. dollar inched higher to $1.271 to a euro and increased against the Japanese yen to 79.39 yen.
Immediate delivery futures of Texas crude oil increased 51 cents to $85.60 a barrel and Brent crude rose $1.32 to $108.57, futures of natural gas decreased 0.11 cents to $3.50 per mbtu and gasoline traded up 6.9 cents to 267.67 cents a gallon.
In metals trading, copper decreased 3.10 cents to $3.45 per pound, gold increased $7.50 to $1,733.50 per ounce and silver increased 44 cents to $32.69.