US mid-afternoon: Progress or just posturing?

RELATED QUOTES

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ORCL39.98+0.25
MKL617.20+6.95
VRSN50.50+0.77
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LONDON (ShareCast) - -Boehner says Obama proposal not balanced
-White House would veto Republicans´ Plan B
-World Bank cuts growth forecasts for East Asia in 2013 and 2014
-Oil futures move higher after inventory data

Dow Jones Industrials: -0.04%
Nasdaq Comp.: 0.15%
S&P 500: -0.08%

Stocks were still trading mixed in early afternoon trading Stateside despite renewed verbal sparring on Capital Hill regarding the fiscal-cliff.

That after the White House said that it would veto Republicans´ so-called 'Plan B'. The latter is an assortment of tax increases for those who earn incomes over 1 million dollars but falls far short of the compromise solution offered by Democrats last night. So much so in fact that the US President has accused Republicans of simply being interested in posturing.

So will the country go over the fiscal cliff? According to ex-IMF Research Director Kenneth Rogoff, who was speaking on Bloomberg TV, there is a fair chance of that. Nevertheless, he did expect an agreement to eventually be reached - after a few weeks of public outcry - but he is sceptical that true reforms will be undertaken.

FedEx higher despite poor EPS guidance

Global delivery services giant Fed Ex was rising despite having offered weaker than forecast guidance for its earnings per share next quarter.

Moody´s placed aluminum maker Alcoa´s long-term credit ratings on 'watch-negative.'

Shares of software firm Oracle (NasdaqGS: ORCL - news) rose 4% after releasing better than expected earnings and sales figures.

Markel (NYSE: MKL - news) was to acquire Alterra Capital for $3.1bn.

Housing permits rise above forecasts
Home construction starts fell to an annualized rate of 861,000 in November (Consensus: 872,000), from 888,000 in October.

Permits rose to an annualized rate 899,000 versus 868,000 in the month before (Consensus: (75,000).

Crude futures rise after inventory data
Front month West Texas crude futures were higher by 1.68% to the $89.40/barrel mark on the NYMEX.

Weekly oil inventories dropped by 1 million barrels a day last week according to the latest Department of Energy (EIA) data. Refineries were operating at 91.4% of their capacity.

10 year US Treasury yields dropped by 2 basis point to 1.80%.



S&P 500 - Risers
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. (RRD) $9.38 +4.45%
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) $34.13 +3.81%
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP (Taiwan OTC: 4747.TWO - news) ) $20.90 +3.62%
Sealed Air Corp. (SEE) $17.24 +3.51%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $40.95 +3.41%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX (KSE: 011810.KS - news) ) $30.30 +3.20%
VeriSign Inc (NasdaqGS: VRSN - news) . (VRSN) $38.00 +2.89%
Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE: JCI - news) . (JCI) $29.97 +2.57%
First Solar Inc (Xetra: A0LEKM - news) . (FSLR) $32.81 +2.53%
FedEx Corp. (FDX) $94.69 +2.52%

S&P 500 - Fallers
Intuitive Surgical Inc (NasdaqGS: ISRG - news) . (ISRG) $517.80 -5.26%
Apollo Group Inc (NasdaqGS: APOL - news) . (APOL) $21.05 -4.97%
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $8.63 -3.14%
Electronic Arts Inc (NasdaqGS: EA - news) . (EA) $14.46 -3.02%
Frontier Communications Co. (FTR) $4.49 -2.92%
General Electric Co. (GE) $21.07 -2.87%
Alpha Natural Res (ANR) $9.63 -2.63%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) . (ALXN) $94.74 -2.62%
Abercrombie & Fitch Co (NYSE: ANF - news) . (ANF) $47.77 -2.49%
Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX) $53.90 -2.49%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $83.38 +1.40%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.13 +0.81%
Caterpillar Inc (NYSE: CAT - news) . (CAT (Taiwan OTC: 4990.TWO - news) ) $91.44 +0.74%
Mondelez International Inc (NasdaqGS: MDLZ - news) . (MDLZ) $26.02 +0.50%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $110.52 +0.38%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $75.74 +0.29%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $44.94 +0.11%
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) (JNJ) $71.02 +0.10%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $195.73 +0.02%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Alcoa Inc. (AA) $8.63 -3.14%
General Electric Co. (GE) $21.07 -2.87%
American Express Co. (AXP) $57.08 -1.28%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $11.23 -1.15%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $62.34 -1.05%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $88.69 -0.97%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $36.92 -0.97%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $43.81 -0.96%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $27.30 -0.94%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $68.93 -0.82%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Oracle Corp. (ORCL) $34.13 +3.81%
Seagate Technology Plc (STX) $30.30 +3.20%
VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) $38.00 +2.89%
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd (NasdaqGS: CHKP - news) . (CHKP) $48.21 +2.29%
Baidu Inc (NasdaqGS: BIDU - news) . (BIDU) $100.73 +2.21%
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (Xetra: 887856 - news) . (GMCR) $41.78 +1.93%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $12.77 +1.67%
Adobe Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: ADBE - news) . (ADBE) $38.11 +1.65%
Applied Materials Inc (NasdaqGS: AMAT - news) . (AMAT) $11.35 +1.52%
Altera Corp (NasdaqGS: ALTR - news) . (ALTR) $34.62 +1.50%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) $517.80 -5.26%
Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) $21.05 -4.97%
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $14.46 -3.02%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $94.74 -2.62%
Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX) $53.90 -2.49%
Activision Blizzard Inc (NasdaqGS: ATVI - news) . (ATVI) $10.85 -2.36%
Mylan Inc (NasdaqGS: MYL - news) . (MYL) $27.81 -1.74%
Life Technologies Corp. (LIFE) $50.94 -1.64%
Dollar Tree Stores Inc. (DLTR) $39.65 -1.52%
Stericycle Inc (NasdaqGS: SRCL - news) . (SRCL) $92.80 -1.31%

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