U.S. stocks remained firmly in green territory by midday trade on the last trading day of 2012 as investors remained somewhat sanguine that last-ditch efforts by lawmakers to save the U.S. economy falling off the “cliff” will come through.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index was flat; the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.68% while S&P 500 Index edged up 0.28%.
The negotiations between the White House and congressional Republican leaders were on as lawmakers try to reach a deal before the yearend deadline. A failure to reach a deal on how to slash fiscal deficit by midnight deadline would automatically set-off series of spending cuts and tax hikes from Jan 1.
However, there is widespread speculation that the federal government could pass legislation in 2013 that retroactively averts the massive spending cuts and tax hikes coming into effect, an option that is perceived as politically straightforward.
Moreover, Republican Senate Bob Corker had some positive words with regard to ongoing negotiations. Speaking to CNBC, the Senator said, “The discussions are going very well…I do think there's going to be a resolve to this,. It's almost irrelevant when it happens—it's going to happen and it's probably going to happen today.”
On Sunday talks between congressional leaders did not yield any results as both sides remained firmed on their respective stance.
In Europe, markets ended mixed with Pan European Stoxx 600 Index gaining 0.32 % for the day.
Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL
) gained 3% on Monday, having slumped to its lowest level in the previous session since February 17. Since September 19, when the stock touched its all-time-high, it has lost 27%; however for 2012 it is up 26%.
Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB
) gained after analyst at underwriting firm BMO, who until recently maintained a bearish outlook on the stock, changed its rating to “buy” from “sell” even as it boosted its price target on the stock to $32 from $15.