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MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia - 14/11/2012

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U.S. stocks lost momentum overnight with investors hitting the sell button in the last two hours of trade. Fiscal cliff concerns weighed on the market. U.S. lawmakers are trying to strike a deal that prevents the onset of sharp spending cuts and tax increases in January.
(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) U.S. stocks lost momentum overnight with sellers overpowering buyers in the last two hours of trade to push the major indexes into the red.

By the close the Dow Jones had fallen 59 points (-0.46%) to 12,756, while the NASDAQ was sold-off by 20 points (-0.70%) to 2884.

There are several major factors playing on the market at the moment, with U.S. lawmakers trying to strike a deal that prevents the onset of sharp spending cuts and tax increases in January. Economists have warned of a negative fiscal shock of up to 5% of gross domestic product.

In Europe, Eurozone finance ministers meanwhile discussed Monday giving Greece an extra two years to reform the economy and reach its targets, but fell short of releasing the latest aid tranche for the debt-strapped country.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, wants to give Greece until 2022 to reduce its debt to 120 per cent of gross domestic product, but the IMF wants to abide by the original deadline of 2020.

Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs meetings of euro-zone finance ministers, said publicly that euro-zone ministers had effectively agreed to give Greece two more years.

The extra time means the country would require about 30 billion euros in extra funding, with finance ministers due to meet November 20 to decide where this money will come from.

U.S. Economic News

On the economic front, the U.S. government ran a deficit of 120 billion in October, up sharply from 98.5 billion in the same month last year. The October deficit was also higher than an estimate of 113 billion released last week from the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. Corporate News

In corporate news, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) stock rallied as the home-improvement retailer beat forecasts with better-than-expected earnings and revenue.

The nation's largest hardware and building supply retailer raised its guidance for the current quarter, and said it is seeing a beginning in the "healing of the housing market."

Discount retailer TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) said Tuesday its third quarter profit rose, meeting analyst estimates, as sales increased 11 per cent. Shares were lately up 1.6%.

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) beat analyst expectations on both income and revenue and raised its guidance for fourth-quarter sales. Michael Kors Holdings (NYSE:KORS) reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat expectations.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock tumbled more than 3% Tuesday, a day after Windows chief Steven Sinofsky - heir apparent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer - left the company.

Sinofsky had been at Microsoft since 1989, trusted with overseeing many of the company's core products including Office and the recent Windows 8 debut.

After the closing bell, data networking equipment maker Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) will report quarterly earnings.


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