US stocks opened in the red, but narrowed their losses by mid-Wednesday in spite of weak housing data after House Speaker John Boehner expressed optimism that a deal could be reached with President Obama in time to avert the fiscal cliff.
Meanwhile, new data from the Commerce Department revealed that new home sales dipped 0.3% in October to a seasonally-adjusted 368,000. The sales rate for September was also revised downwards to 369,000 from 389,000, cooling hopes that the housing recovery was well on its way.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.10% to 12,890.41 points as of 12:02 p.m. EST.
Bank stocks led in the sell-off category, as they typically do after the release of poor economic data, with Bank of America
(NYSE:BAC) sliding 0.88% to $9.57 and JPMorgan
(NYSE:JPM) falling 1.33% to $40.21. Other S&P 500 financials such as Citigroup
(NYSE:C) (-1.71%), Morgan Stanley
(NYSE:MS) (-1.80%), and Goldman Sachs
(NYSE:GS) (-0.70%) were also down on the day. The bellwether Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (
NYSEARCA:XLF), which tracks all financial stocks in the S&P 500, was down 0.64% to $15.54.
(NASDAQ:CSCO) also retreated 0.95% to $18.78. According to a report by ACG Research
, Cisco’s worldwide routing revenue for the year will decline, highlighting the pressures brought upon by the slowing global economy.
And while fellow Dow financials struggled, American Express
(NYSE:AXP) advanced 0.84% to $54.90. The stock dropped more than 2% yesterday on worries that the fiscal cliff would cause a spending cutback. Investors were likely heartened by Speaker Boehner’s encouraging remarks.
(NYSE:WMT) also inched up 0.75% to $70.02. Wal-Mart said that this year’s Black Friday was its best ever, with November sales also running “ahead of plan.” Additionally, the Thanksgiving employee strikes did not disrupt business as much as the company had initially feared.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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