24/7 Wall St. Closing Bell — December 21, 2012: Markets Gloomy All Day (MDRX, GG, NKE, EAT, DFS, RHT, WAG, SMRT, RIMM, ASCA, PNK, DQ, HLF, HALO, PFE)
U.S. equity markets opened lower this morning following last night’s failure by the U.S. House of Representatives to hold a vote on a plan to deal with the country’s budget deficit. In Europe, Germany’s consumer climate reading was higher than expected, but the U.K.’s GDP growth was revised downward. In Asia, markets reacted strongly to the failed U.S. House vote. A number of data points were released in the U.S. today. Durable goods orders and personal spending were better than expected (more coverage here). The consumer sentiment index reading was lower than expected, down from 74.5 last month to 72.9 in December. Equities traded solidly lower all day — a quadruple-witching day — with index futures, index options, stock options, and single stock futures all expiring. U.S. markets close early on Monday and are closed all day Tuesday for the Christmas holiday.
The U.S. dollar index rose sharply today…
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