- GDP lifted for all the wrong reasons- Today the U.S. Commerce Department reported its second estimate for third-quarter GDP, and at first glance the 2.7% revision seems to indicate growth after the second quarter's dismal 1.3% level.
Further analysis of today's reading shows that household purchases grew at a 1.4% rate, the lowest in more than a year, and personal consumption, which is supposed to reflect 70% of the U.S. economy, only made up 36% of the 2.7% headline number.
"We're just muddling through," Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale in New York told Bloomberg News. "The mix between final demand and inventories was far less favorable. The consumer spending numbers are a reflection of the fact that job growth remains sluggish."
- Fiscal cliff discussions heat up today- Today marks the largest effort from the Obama administration and congressional leaders to make progress on a deficit reduction deal, as several key members meet in Washington. A day after the president met with more than a dozen CEOs of major corporations he is scheduled to have a private lunch with Mitt Romney to discuss details of a compromise. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will also be meeting with each of the four congressional leaders.
The markets have welcomed any positive remarks that have surfaced regarding the fiscal cliff and many are hopeful a deal can be reached. But so far all we've heard from recent discussions are generic, meaningless statements, and today will be a key indication if any actual progress is being made.
Editors Note: While Washington duels over fiscal cliff, you can get your money prepared for any outcome with these steps.
Prior to the outcomes of these key meetings here are today's biggest market movers:
- Acura Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACUR) is up over 51% in early trading after the specialty pharmaceutical company recently announced its immediate-release next generation pseudoephedrine tablet, NEXAFED, is bioequivalent to the leading national product for nasal congestion.
- China Hgs Real Estate Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSH) is also up close to 50% in early trading and HGSH stock has soared from under $0.50 at the end of October to its current price of $4.25. Yet this stock should be avoided, as the recent surge appears to be unfounded and based on hype alone.
- Liquidity Services Inc. (Nasdaq: LQDT) is one of today's biggest losers, down close to 20%, after the online auction operator issued much lower guidance than expected for its fiscal 2013 first quarter.
As of noon the Dow Jones was up 3 points, or 0.02%, and the S&P 500 was up 2.05 points, or 0.15%.
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