Washington's positive tone cheers Wall Street for a day

NEW YORK Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:32am IST

1 of 7. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Stocks

   
Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hope that politicians would find common ground to steer clear of the "fiscal cliff" boosted stocks on Friday, though the gains were not enough to offset the week's losses.

Stocks recovered from early declines after leaders of the Senate and House emerged from a meeting at the White House and indicated they would be flexible in efforts to settle fiscal policy differences.

Democrats said they recognized the need to curb spending and Republicans said they had agreed to put "revenue on the table" following a meeting with President Barack Obama.

For the week, the S&P was down 1.5 percent, its second week in a row of losses. The Dow lost 1.8 percent, down for the fourth straight week, while the Nasdaq was lower for the sixth week, also losing 1.8 percent.

"These are very small steps in the right direction," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St Louis.

"The more evidence there is that Congress will make a decision sooner, the more likely we are to see stocks rebound."

About $600 billion of automatic budget cuts and tax increases will start to take effect in the new year unless Washington reaches a deal. With memories of 2011's debt ceiling impasse fresh in investors' minds, many are worried this year's discussions could be drawn out or yield no agreement.

If all the changes go into effect, economists say it could tip the economy into recession. Investors have pulled out of stocks over the past two weeks, taking nearly 4 percent off the S&P 500.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 45.93 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,588.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 6.55 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,359.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC gained 16.19 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,853.13.

Shares of Penn National Gaming Inc (PENN.O) surged 28.2 percent to $48.23 on its busiest day of trading in more than four years, after the owner of gaming and pari-mutuel properties said late Thursday it will split its business into a gaming-focused real estate investment trust and a gaming operator.

More than 10 million shares changed hands, compared with average daily volume of 629,000 shares over the past 50 days.

Dell Inc DELL.O helped limit the Nasdaq's gains after lower PC sales hurt the company's profit. Dell slumped 7.3 percent to $8.86.

More violence in the Middle East also kept investors wary after Palestinian militants nearly hit Jerusalem with a rocket for the first time in decades and fired at Tel Aviv for a second day.

Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) late Thursday reported a quarterly loss that was narrower than expected, but same-store sales fell on weak demand for electronics, sending shares down 18.8 percent to $47.49.

Volume is expected to be light next week with some investors away for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the market closed on Thursday and open for only a half-day on Friday.

The decreased liquidity could spell more intra-day volatility for the market, though fewer market participants could also mute action.

Volume on Friday was roughly 7.52 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, well above the year-to-date average daily closing volume of about 6.52 billion.

Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,258 to 784 on the New York Stock Exchange. On the Nasdaq, advancers also had the upper hand by 1,446 to 997.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

REUTERS SHOWCASE

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Read | Related 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Hughes Dies

Hughes Dies

Australia's Phil Hughes dies after being hit by ball  Full Article 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Low expectations for oil output cut  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

India-focused Funds

India-focused Funds

India-focused hedge funds up over 40 pct YTD - HFR  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage