Breaking News

Stocks Surge As Fiscal Cliff Deal Appears Close

By Benzinga (Benzinga )Stock MarketsDec 31, 2012 11:49PM ET
Stocks Surge As Fiscal Cliff Deal Appears Close
By Benzinga (Benzinga )   |  Dec 31, 2012 11:49PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
The U.S. stock market jumped on Monday as Congressional lawmakers suggested that a deal to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" appears to be near at hand. Throughout the day, the market continued to rise and closed out on the highs of the session as an optimistic tone prevailed. Some of the gains may also have been driven by fund managers who were looking to push stocks higher to close out their year on a high note.

Major Averages
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out 2012 with a gain of 166 points to 13,104. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 12,884 and 13,109. For the year, the Dow added 7.26 percent.

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 24 points, or 1.69 percent, on the last day of 2012 closing at just above 1,426. For the year, the S&P added a very respectable 13.41 percent.

The Nasdaq Composite was the biggest winner on the day, adding more than 59 points, or 2 percent, to finish above 3,000 at 3,019.51. For 2012, the Nasdaq closed up almost 16 percent after big gains for large-cap tech stocks such as Apple (AAPL) and Oracle (ORCL).

The U.S. dollar was all over the place versus major currencies on Monday. The euro was weak versus the greenback, falling 0.20 percent, but the British pound was strong with the GBP/USD rising 0.56 percent. The dollar did the best versus the Japanese yen on the session with the USD/JPY rising 0.73 percent. The other notable mover was the USD/CAD pair which fell 0.33 percent to $0.9930.

Crude oil benefited from increased risk appetite on the day. NYMEX crude futures added 1.04 percent to $91.74 while Brent contacts rose 0.44 percent to $111.11. Natural gas, however, lost more than 3 percent on Monday.

Precious metals were also higher on the session with gold added more than 1 percent to $1,673.40. Silver also notched a gain of better than one percent and continues to hold just above the $30.00 level.

In the agricultural complex, volatility for most products was limited with corn finishing up around 0.60 percent and most of the other grains recording small losses. Orange juice concentrate contracts trading on ICE fell more than seven percent, however, on the session.

Demand for U.S. Treasurys fell sharply on Monday as money flowed into riskier assets. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) plunged 1.73 percent to $121.18. Yields rose across the curve, with the long-end getting hit particularly hard. The 30-Year Bond yield climbed 8 basis points to 2.95 percent while the yield on the 10-Year Note rose 6 basis points to 1.76 percent. On the year, the yield on the 10-Year fell 12 basis points while the 30-Year Bond yield rose 6 basis points.

Volatility and Volume
The VIX got pancaked on Monday as fear left the market as investors sense that some kind of agreement about the fiscal cliff is near. The VIX plunged 20.55 percent on the day to just over 18.

Despite it being New Year's Eve, traders were very active on Monday on account of the tense headlines coming out of Washington D.C. Volume in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) was the heaviest it has been in awhile with nearly 235 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 137.6 million.

Stock Movers
Among the day's big movers were Apple (AAPL) and Herbalife (HLF).

As the market surged throughout the afternoon, money flowed into Apple shares which have been falling in recent months. The stock climbed more than four percent which was enough to give the company a valuation of over $500 billion once again.

Herbalife shares jumped more than 12 percent on the session to $32.94. The stock has been extremely volatile ever since hedge fund manager Bill Ackman called the company a "pyramid scheme" and revealed that he is short over $1 billion worth of Herbalife stock. In recent days, HLF has been recouping some of the steep losses which came in the aftermath of Ackman's attack on the company.

Other big movers included Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX) which popped almost 16 percent and Alon USA Energy (ALJ) which rose more than 19 percent.

Shares of valuation advisory firm Duff & Phelps (DUF) added almost 20 percent on the last day of the year after buyout firm the Carlyle Group and others agreed to acquire the company for around $665.5 million.

By Scott Rubin
Stocks Surge As Fiscal Cliff Deal Appears Close

Related Articles

Stocks Surge As Fiscal Cliff Deal Appears Close

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Write your thoughts here
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post also to:
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email