Daily Data Flow: U.S. Stocks Fall; European Defaults?; Dollar Strength?

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Fall Amid Talks on Fiscal Cliff, Greek Aid (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, following the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s biggest weekly gain since June, as lawmakers prepared to debate the so-called fiscal cliff and euro-area finance ministers discuss Greek aid. “We’ve got a lot of negatives,” Peter Sorrentino, who helps manage about $14.6 billion of assets at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said. “There’s the backdrop of what’s going on in the European Union with the bailouts and recapitalizing the banks. On top of that, we have issues in the U.S. with regard to our fiscal policy. That’s just enough reason at this point in time to take risk off the table and wait for more insight and clarity.”

Why Europe Debt Defaults Are About to Rattle Stocks (CNBC)
Though the crisis in Europe has been pushed aside in recent months, the new year is likely to bring new concerns that a slew of nations are in line for debt defaults. The worst of the bunch — Greece — likely will dump the currency completely before 2013 ends, while nations such as Spain and Italy that have ducked under the radar likely will find themselves back under pressure, Citigroup said. Citigroup released a fresh analysis Monday in which the firm estimates that at least five nations along the periphery of the euro zone will need to restructure their onerous debt burdens.

Why the Dollar Won’t Fall Off a Cliff (CNBC)
The dollar has gotten a boost from investors’ obsession with the fiscal cliff negotiations. But if you think it’s going to sag if Democrats and Republicans can make a deal, you’ve got another thing coming. These pros point to improving data on employment and housing to argue that “the U.S. economy is on more stable ground now than at any point in the crisis.”

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Last week was a short one for the stock market as the domestic markets were closed last Thursday and opened Friday with shortened hours. Even so, all of the major market indices were up nicely last week. That gain continued the market rebound that began on Nov. 16 and now has the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 6.5% year to date, and both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite Index up a more impressive 12% and 13.9%, respectively, on the same basis. The shortened trading week was due to the T

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