The Congressional Deficit Reduction Committee, which we affectionately labeled the stupercommittee, looks near certain now to fail to drive budget cutting legislation. However, given the President’s commitment to veto any congressional effort to remove the default budget cuts that would come to play as a result of super committee failure, U.S. markets should theoretically be unaffected. They have performed better than their European brethren today, with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 each up fractionally into the afternoon Tuesday.
That’s because with debt cuts coming anyway, a credit downgrade of the U.S. is effectively stopped. And this morning, all three rating agencies affirmed their positions on American sovereign debt. S&P (NYSE: MHP) stated that the default cuts mitigated risk if enforced, though Moody’s (NYSE: MCO) and Fitch said the legislative stalemate was worth noting. Of course, the last two mentioned still have top ratings on the U.S.
The key economic data of the day came from the first revision to third quarter GDP. Gross domestic product was cut to growth of 2.0%, down from the 2.5% rate initially reported and short of the 2.4% consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The range of economists’ views spanned from 2.0% to 2.9%. GDP was up 1.3% in Q2, so the improvement is still noted, yet the slower pace also takes some steam out of stocks as it raises the economic alert again looking forward.
The other big report Tuesday was the 2:00 PM ET release of the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting Minutes, which cover the Fed meeting of November 2.
ICSC/Reuters Weekly Same-Store Sales fell 0.9% through the period ending November 19 while marking 2.8% year-to-year growth. That’s not impressive when factoring in the rate of inflation. With this data immediately preceding the start of the holiday shopping season, it seems futile to read into. Shoppers are anxiously awaiting the start of Black Friday deals now, and so putting off consumption in the current period.
MF Global’s (OTC: MFGLQ.PK) post bankruptcy trustee requested New York bankruptcy court approval to speed the claims process today. The court is also reviewing the details regarding the missing funds at MF Global, and has revised the total to $1.2 billion, which is twice the initial estimate.
IPO lockup curbs expired on Solazyme (Nasdaq: SZYM) today. Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC) has an analyst meeting scheduled. The earnings schedule highlights news from Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB), Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL), Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ), Chicos FAS (NYSE: CHS), China Digital TV (NYSE: STV), Patterson Companies (Nasdaq: PDCO), Acorn Int’l (NYSE: ATV), American Woodmark (Nasdaq: AMWD), Astro Med (Nasdaq: ALOT), Books a Million (Nasdaq: BAMM), China Real Estate Info (Nasdaq: CRIC), China Xiniya Fashion (NYSE: XNY), Citi Trends (Nasdaq: CTRN), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Nasdaq: CBRL), Daktronics (Nasdaq: DAKT), dELi’s (Nasdaq: DLIA), Diana Containerships (Nasdaq: DCIX), DSW (NYSE: DSW), Eaton Vance (NYSE: EV), E-House (China) Holdings (NYSE: EJ), Fred’s (Nasdaq: FRED), Genesco (NYSE: GCO), Gymboree (Nasdaq: GYMB), Hanwha Solarone (Nasdaq: HSOL), JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO), Le Gaga (Nasdaq: GAGA), LTX-Credence (Nasdaq: LTXC), Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN), Pandora Media (NYSE: P), QAD Inc. (Nasdaq: QADB), Raven Industries (Nasdaq: RAVN), School Specialty (Nasdaq: SCHS), Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG), Suntech Power (NYSE: STP), Symbion (Nasdaq: SMBI), TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO), Tri-Valley (AMEX: TIV) and Valspar (NYSE: VAL).
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