Fiscal Cliff Countdown Continues With No Progress In Sight

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The fiscal cliff countdown continues with no progress in sight and 22 days to go.

countdown Fiscal Cliff Countdown Continues With No Progress In SightThe fiscal cliff ticked closer last week as U.S. stocks and ETFs rose slightly for the week and political leaders continued their sparring.  22 days remain until the cliff arrives on December 31st, however, this is the last week when Congress is scheduled to be in session with the Christmas break starting Friday, December 14th.

On My ETF Radar

spxpf12912 Fiscal Cliff Countdown Continues With No Progress In Sightchart courtesy of StockCharts.com

A quick glance at the chart of the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) shows us that the index is still in a bear market, below its red bullish resistance line and with a bearish price objective of 1380.  However, the shorter term direction has been up and the index is in a range between 1350-1420 as the sideways action continues and market participants wait for resolution to the fiscal cliff.

Major U.S. stock indexes and ETFs continue their sideways drift in anticipation of a resolution to the fiscal cliff.

Major ETF and Index Update:

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) added 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) gained 0.1%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:QQQ) fell 1.1% and the Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) gained 0.12%.

Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) declined 0.5% and oil (NYSEARCA:USO) fell 3.2%.

ETF News You Can Really Use

Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) continued making news last week and dragging down the Nasdaq (NYSEARCA:QQQ) as the largest company in the world declined 8.9% from last Friday’s close and now is 24% below its recent September high.

In economic news, Friday’s Non Farm Payrolls report showed that jobs climbed by 146,000 last month and unemployment fell to 7.9%.  Both headline numbers beat expectations, however, less widely reported was that the labor force participation rate continued to decline, down 0.2% to 63.6% as another 500,000+ people left the labor force.  Also, September and October employment numbers were revised downward.

Friday also brought December’s University of Michigan consumer sentiment index that registered a drop to 74.5 from last month’s 82.7 and missed expectations of 82 by a wide margin.  Earlier in the week, November’s ISM declined to 49.5, also missing expectations and putting the index into contraction territory.

On the good news front, ISM services climbed to 54.7 and construction spending for October was up.

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