Daily Data Flow: Stocks Rise, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Drama Continues; Gold near $1,700

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Rise as Investors Watch for Progress on Talks (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since October, as investors weighed prospects for a budget deal in Washington. “It’s a historic tug of war: pulling on one side is the fiscal cliff, pulling the other side is continued global monetary easing,” said David Sowerby, a portfolio manager at Boston- based Loomis Sayles & Co. His firm oversees about $175 billion. “The most positive thing for the market is valuation and an accommodative Fed policy.”

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal Won’t Guarantee Growth: El-Erian (CNBC)
Even if Washington reaches a deal on the “fiscal cliff,” strong growth in 2013 is far from guaranteed, Pimco’s Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC on Monday. El Erian voiced confidence that a deal would be reached by Christmas, though he said key players should avoid letting details trickle out too early and torpedo political support. “The deal is important… because if we don’t get one, this economy goes into recession and that’s the last thing we need,” the fund manager said.

Gold Remains Below Closely Watched $1,700 Mark (Marketwatch)
Gold for February delivery rose $1.20, or 0.1%, to $1,698.20 an ounce. Gold traded as low as $1,687.50 to begin the week before recovering, according to FactSet data. Prices sloughed off weaker levels after a survey compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed a surprise: Regional manufacturers said business worsened earlier this month. The $1,700 level is “a key psychological level more than anything. We have seen a lot of trading around that figure, so the fact that price is struggling here suggests to me that the path of least resistance is to the south,” wrote Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at GFT Global Markets, in a email.

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U.S. markets had their first negative week in three weeks, with the Dow Jones down 0.15% and the S&P 500 ending the week 0.32% lower. Global markets continued their seasonal out performance, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rising 1.38%. That was good news for last week's leveraged bet on emerging markets, as ProShares Ultra MSCI Emerging Markets (EET) ended the week 2.71% higher. Your strongest performer was HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC), up 6.78% last week. With U.S. m

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