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Pre-Market Primer: Lack of Fiscal Cliff Progress Weighs on Stocks

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President Obama will be meeting with CEOs today to press his case.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL As US politicians continue to try to work out a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, index futures are pointing to a third-straight sell-off.

Stocks slid yesterday, especially after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that he was disappointed with fiscal cliff negotiations that were making little progress.

Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures slipped 0.27% 12,827.00. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures fell 0.36% to 1,392.30, and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures dropped 0.29% to 2,633.50.

A report on new home sales from the Commerce Department is expected to show that Americans bought new homes at a slightly slower rate in October. Economists predict that newly constructed homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 387,000 in October, down from 389,000 in September.

Costco (NASDAQ:COST) shares rose 4.65% after the company announced a special year-end dividend of $7 per share or $3 billion total. Tax rates on dividends are scheduled to rise in 2013, and 103 companies declared similar dividends this quarter.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is asking US, Canadian, and British courts for a ruling that could block sales of BlackBerry devices in those countries. Nokia alleges that Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has violated Nokia's patents related to Wireless local access network technology. RIM is likely to pay royalties to Nokia to settle the suit.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) shares are up 23.9% in the pre-market as the Vermont company beat earnings expectations. The company's profits jumped 22% in its fiscal fourth quarter to $0.64 per share. Revenue rose 33% to $946.7 million. The jump in revenue was attributed to better sales of Keurig single-serve coffee brewers and pods.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares rose 2.8% on reports that the company's directors are planning to replace CEO Andrew Mason with a more experienced boss.

The European Commission gave Spain permission to recapitalize the country's nationalized banks. Under this deal, the bank's lenders can face billions of euros in losses and bank staff will probably be slashed. Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc, and Banco de Valencia will need 37 billion euros of aid to recapitalize.

President Barack Obama will meet today with CEOs of several major corporations, including Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), and AT&T (NYSE:T) to garner support in the business community for his positions on fiscal policy.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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