U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Obama Prepares to Resume Budget Talks
Traders Magazine Online News, December 26, 2012
U.S. stock-index futures advanced as President Barack Obama and Congress prepared to resume budget discussions as the year-end deadline to avoid a package of tax increases and spending cuts approaches.
Exxon Mobil Corp. might move as oil rose in New York trading. Netflix Inc. may be active after its online video service was disrupted for several hours on Dec. 24.
Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures expiring in March increased 0.2 percent to 1,422 at 7:15 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,085.
U.S. equity markets were closed for the Christmas holiday yesterday. The S&P 500 dropped 1.2 percent over the previous two trading days amid concern policy makers will fail to strike a compromise on more than $600 billion in automatic budget cuts and higher taxes, the so-called fiscal cliff. The gauge has still rallied 13 percent this year, on course for its largest annual gain since 2009.
"2013 will mainly be guided by political news, budget discussions, statements from central banks and economic surprises," William De Vijlder, chief investment officer Strategy & Partners at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Brussels, wrote in a December strategy note released today.
House Speaker John Boehner and the president have been unable to agree on tax-rate increases for top earners or cuts to entitlement programs, complicating the chances of getting a package done.
Obama plans to leave for Washington today from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii, while his family will stay behind, the White House said yesterday. Congress is due to return tomorrow, the same day Obama will arrive in Washington.
Before going on vacation, Obama urged leaders of both parties to put together an interim bill to keep taxes from rising on middle-income Americans as they work on a more comprehensive package.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.2 percent today, trading less than 1 percent from its highest close for the year, as the yen dropped and Shinzo Abe was approved as Japan's prime minister after promising to promote more stimulus measures. European markets remained closed for a second day.
House prices in 20 U.S. cities rose 4 percent in the 12 months ended October, the best year-over-year performance since June 2010, an S&P/Case-Shiller report may show today. The projected gain for the month would follow a 3 percent increase in the year through September.
U.S. holiday sales growth slowed by more than half this year after gridlock in Washington soured consumers' moods and Hurricane Sandy disrupted shopping, MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse said.
Retail sales grew by 0.7 percent from Oct. 28 through Dec. 24, the research firm said yesterday, without providing a dollar figure in the billions. Sales grew at a 2 percent pace in the same period a year ago. SpendingPulse tracks total U.S. sales at stores and online via all payment forms.
Exxon and other oil companies might move as crude rose in New York for the first time in three days.
Netflix may be active. The world's biggest video-streaming service said yesterday that access to its movies and television shows was restored after a disruption caused by Amazon.com Inc.'s Web storage and computing system.
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