Investors braced for another day of waiting and worrying Friday, as lawmakers fumbled to find a solution to the fast-approaching fiscal cliff.
U.S. stock futures were lower as fears about the impact of no deal grow.
President Obama and congressional leaders will discuss the impasse at the White House on Friday, and the House of Representatives will return on Sunday. Failure to reach a fiscal cliff deal could push the U.S. economy into recession.
Investors are hoping that leaders will at least be able to reach some sort of breakthrough that will postpone at least some of the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect on Jan. 1.
"A lot of people are thinking about capital gains consequences and holding positions beyond this year," said Mark Helweg, founder of financial tech company MicroQuant..
The uncertainty has taken a toll on markets. Stocks have sold off for four straight sessions as hopes for a substantial budget agreement have diminished, and all three indexes are on track to end December in the red.
Shares of Citigroup, as well as those of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were all lower in premarket trading. Bank stocks were among the biggest drags on the market Thursday. Stocks ended slightly lower yesterday, as news that of Sunday's House meeting sparked a rebound in the last hour of trading, causing the Dow to recover from a 151-point loss.
While fiscal cliff talks will dominate investor attention, several other economic reports will also be in focus. Reports on the Chicago purchasing managers index and pending home sales are due out shortly after the markets open.
European markets edged higher in morning trade on hopes of a fiscal cliff deal. Meanwhile, Italy sold 3 billion euros in 10-year government bonds Friday morning.
Asian markets ended stronger. Japan's Nikkei continued its recent strong run as the yen weakened again on the prospect of further monetary easing. The Shanghai Composite posted further gains and is poised to end the year in the black.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
We’ve turned a corner! The weather is warming up so it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some fantastic weather.
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
By the time he arrived home Tuesday night, Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead had already been on the job for 14 hours. Hours earlier, he had finally delivered the news many in the community had been hoping for: a child killer had been caught.
Low pressure is moving in. Find out when it could bring rain back to the Valley.
A state lawmaker has promised to introduce a bill next legislative session that would require a full performance and financial audit of the Arizona State Hospital, known as ASH.
For the first time we're hearing from a woman who says her husband tried to have her killed, twice. Fred Knalder just took a plea deal and Libby Knadler says she fears for her life.
Do the Cardinals have a competitive advantage at Tennessee? Perhaps. At the very least, the Cards appear to be well-equipped for the rigors of the road considering what they’re packing to Nashville.
A Valley man is offering an interesting reward for some missing cats.