U.S. Stocks Fall on Manufacturing Data Amid Cliff Concern (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, following a two- week advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as an unexpected contraction in manufacturing spurred concern about the potential economic toll from the so-called fiscal cliff. “The fiscal cliff concerns are actually affecting decision making at the business level,” Andres Garcia-Amaya, New York- based global market strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s mutual funds unit, which oversee $400 billion in assets, said in a phone interview. “China is starting to show signs of life. The U.S. was showing signs of life, but we have the geopolitical issue that’s impeding us from moving forward. All in all, that’s just confusing the market.”
GOP ‘Cliff’ Plan: Cut Medicare and Social Security (CNBC)
Seeking to jump-start stalled talks on avoiding the “fiscal cliff,” House Republicans on Monday proposed a new 10-year, $2.2 trillion blueprint to President Barack Obama that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits. The GOP plan proposes to raise $800 billion in higher tax revenue over the decade but it would keep the Bush-era tax cuts — including those for wealthier earners targeted by Obama — in place for now.
Euro Climbs to 6-week High vs. Dollar; Spain Asks for Help (Reuters)
The euro climbed for the fourth straight session against the dollar on Monday to touch a six-week high as news from Spain and Greece allayed concerns about those debt-burdened countries, while data from China eased worries about global economic growth. Demand for euros was also buoyed by rising risk appetite as business surveys showed the euro zone’s manufacturing sector shrank a little less rapidly in November and data showed Chinese manufacturing output grew last month for the first time in more than a year.