S&P 500 Pares Losses as House Sets Session for Dec. 30
U.S. stocks pared most of their earlier losses in the final hour of trading as the House of Representatives planned a session on Dec. 30, fueling optimism a budget deal will be reached.
Consumer discretionary and staples stocks reversed declines, each climbing 0.1 percent among 10 groups in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Expedia Inc.(EXPE) rallied 4.1 percent, the most in the benchmark index. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. slid at least 0.6 percent, pacing losses among financial shares. Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) slid 3.5 percent after being downgraded by JMP Securities LLC.
The S&P 500 (SPX) dropped 0.1 percent to 1,418.10 at 4 p.m. in New York, after earlier retreating as much as 1.3 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 18.28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,096.31. Almost 5.2 billion shares traded hands on U.S. exchanges, or 15 percent below the three-month average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"This market has held up remarkably well recognizing that this is political theater and that there is a decent chance that some bridge will be built at the last minute,” Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust Co. in Radnor, Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $6.5 billion in assets. “Dec. 30 is a Sunday. They’re making all of this extra effort to save the day at the last minute.”
The S&P 500 has slipped 0.8 percent this week as talks between President Barack Obama and Congress dragged on beyond the Christmas holiday. The gauge has still rallied 13 percent this year. Obama is pushing lawmakers to agree on an interim deal to avert more than $600 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, that will otherwise come into effect next month.