Stocks take breather
Friday, December 17, 2021 12:45 PM

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In New York, stocks were little changed Friday, pulling back from two-year highs reached in the previous session, as investors mulled over the tax-cut deal that passed the House late Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrials retreated 26.72 points to greet noon at 11,472.50

The S&P 500 moved lower 0.27 points to 1,242.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index progressed 7.44 points to 2,644.75.

Late Thursday, the House of Representatives put a final stamp of approval on the $858-billion U.S. tax deal hammered out between President Obama and Republicans. The Senate passed the proposal on Wednesday, and the bill is now awaiting President Obama's signature.

S&P 500 has gained nearly 6% since Obama agreed to compromise with Republicans on the tax plan

Regional banks -- which have been especially hard hit during the recession -- rallied. Regions Financial Zions Bancorp and KeyCorp were all higher in mid-day trade.

After the bell on Thursday, Oracle and Research in Motion announced their past-quarter financial results -- both beat Wall Street analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue. Shares of Oracle rose 6%, and shares of Research in Motion ticked up 3%.

Economically speaking, the index on leading economic indicators (LEI) data for November was released after the opening bell. LEI jumped 1.1%, after edging up 0.4% in the prior month. Economists had been expecting a 1.2% increase.

Meanwhile, a government report on regional and state unemployment showed that more states suffered rising jobless rates in November than in the previous month. A total of 21 states and the District of Columbia reported higher unemployment rates, compared with 14 states in the previous month.

The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury moved up again, lowering the yield to 3.38% from Thursday's 3.48%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil squirted higher 41 cents a barrel to $88.11 U.S.

Gold futures for February delivery added 60 cents to $1,371.60 U.S. an ounce.

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(Source: Quotemedia)


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Market news:

  • Heavy snow hits air travel, roads across Europe Dec 18, 2021 07:13 AM

    • LONDON - Authorities say air travel across Europe has been disrupted by heavy snow, while rail services and roads were also affected by the blast of wintry weather.
    • In Britain, London's Gatwick airport closed its runway due to snow, while British Airways suspended all flights from London's Heathrow airport.
    • In a statement, Heathrow said more snow was expected and that staff were "planning for the worst."
      • Top US officer says Iran still driving for a bomb Dec 18, 2021 06:58 AM

        • MANAMA, Bahrain - Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, posing a threat to its neighbors, and the United States is "very ready" to counter Iran should it make a move, the top U.S. military officer said Saturday.
        • "The United States takes very seriously our security commitments in the Gulf region," Mullen said following a meeting with Bahrain's king.
        • Bahrain, directly across the Gulf from Iran, is home to a large U.S. Navy base that would be on the front lines of any war with Iran.
          • Obama pushes for nuke treaty ratification Dec 18, 2021 06:35 AM

            • WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is warning that failure to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia will undercut American leadership on scores of challenges it faces worldwide.
            • Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to plead with the Senate to approve the treaty, a dearly held foreign policy priority in the waning days of Congress' lame-duck session.
            • Obama said without action on the pact, known as New START, "we'll risk undermining American leadership not only on nuclear proliferation, but a host of other challenges around the world."
              • US lawmakers may vote on Armenian genocide measure Dec 18, 2021 06:06 AM

                • WASHINGTON - The House may vote next week on a measure that could damage U.S. relations with critical ally Turkey: a resolution declaring the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide.
                • House Democratic leaders had long set aside consideration of the draft resolution, and the measure was expected to expire as a new Republican-led House takes office next month.
                • House aides, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment, said Friday that Democratic leaders have been discussing a possible vote with lawmakers.
                  • Senate nears repeal of military's curbs on gays Dec 18, 2021 06:06 AM

                    • WASHINGTON - Congress is close to ending the ban on gays serving openly in the military, with the Senate ready for a landmark vote that could deliver a major victory to the gay community, liberals and President Barack Obama.
                    • Senators planned a procedural vote Saturday on a bill ending the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as lawmakers held an unusual weekend session in their race to finish the year's legislative business.
                    • If at least 60 senators vote to advance the bill as expected, the repeal, which passed the House this week, could win final passage by late afternoon.

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