Wall Street I: Fiscal cliff stalls Santas Claus rally

The annual “Santa Claus rally” – in which stocks historically tend to rise from Christmas Eve through the first few days of the new year – failed to eventuate as Washington’s political gridlock tightened its hold on financial markets.

As the markets closed on Boxing Day, stocks on Wall Street extended their losses into a third session as retailers were hit after the Christmas holiday and as investors looked to the next day’s resumption of budget talks.

In commodities, oil and gold futures rose slightly.

President Barack Obama and Congress are expected back in Washington on Thursday to resume talks to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” Talks ended without resolution before the Christmas break on December 24.

The Wall Street Journal reports that lawmakers are increasingly unlikely to agree on a comprehensive plan that would avoid the full brunt of the cliff – the combined $US500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to begin next week.
Little – if any – progress has been in made in the talks and with deadlines quickly approaching, a partial agreement may be the only reasonable hope at this point.

Since 1928, the S&P 500 has traded higher 79% of the time during the period spanning the last five trading days of the year and the first two sessions of the new year.

Historically, the index has averaged a 1.8% gain during this timeframe. A year ago, the S&P 500 rose 1.9% during the Santa rally.

At the market close, the S&P 500 index was down 0.5%, to 1420.11, with consumer and technology shares the poorest performers and natural resource faring the best among its 10 major industry sectors.

The  Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 32.77 points, or 0.3%, to 13,106.31 and the Nasdaq Composite index retreated 0.7% to 2992.91.

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America after forcing the rest of the world into Democracy and playing their game, may realize the rest of the world is playing the game better. The American dream may have to make some big adjustments.

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NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change
USD 0.7272 -0.0017 -0.23%
AUD 0.9157 0.0003 0.03%
EUR 0.6138 0.0025 0.41%
GBP 0.5405 0.0008 0.15%
HKD 5.6796 -0.0123 -0.22%
JPY 81.1270 -0.8070 -0.98%


Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1293.3 6.130 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Brent 56.4 0.420 2017-09-22T00:
Oil Nymex 50.7 0.110 2017-09-22T00:
Silver Index 16.9 -0.034 2017-09-22T00:


Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 7819.4 7870.9 7814.8 0.70%
NASDAQ 6401.4 6429.5 6422.7 0.07%
DAX 12573.4 12633.1 12592.4 0.02%
DJI 22334.1 22364.3 22359.2 -0.04%
FTSE 7310.6 7312.4 7310.6 -0.13%
HKSE 27851.5 27851.5 27880.5 -1.36%
NI225 20439.4 20454.3 20296.5 0.50%
ASX 5682.1 5710.4 5682.1 0.03%