US open: Republicans harden their stance

RELATED QUOTES

SymbolPriceChange
NOV82.88+0.23
AFL62.16-0.54
6MK.DE40.98-0.82
CME70.90-0.50
FB60.87-0.49

LONDON (ShareCast) - - Boehner asks for spending cuts
- Some worried by push for higher collateral on derivatives
- Bill Miller positive on Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news)

Dow Jones Industrials: -0.22%
Nasdaq Comp.: -0.36%
S&P 500: -0.26%

The main US equity averages are now registering slight falls and off their best levels of the session, as 'political risk' makes a bit of a 'come-back.'

That on a day bereft of macroeconomic data releases but with the 'news-flow' related to the 'fiscal-cliff' picking up.

In that regard, the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, said he would oppose any delay in the automatic spending reductions - known as 'sequester' - which are set to go into effect come next March 1st, unless they are replaced by other cuts and reforms.

Only yesterday night President Obama called for Congress to act on a short-term compendium of spending cuts and tax-code changes to replace the so-called 'sequestration' of some federal spending. Said package, however, also included new revenue measures, which is anathema to some Republicans.

Of interest, calculations by Vickers Weekly Insider Report show that for the week that ended last Friday the ratio of all shares that insiders have recently sold in the open market to the number that they have purchased stood at 9.20-to-1, according to Marketwatch.com.

On average, over the ensuing month after each prior occasion when the sell-to-buy ratio got this high the broad market fell by 2.1% — as measured by the Wilshire 5000 total-return index. The last time it got this high was in July 2011.

Acting as a backdrop, and in Europe, stocks reacted quite negatively to reports that Silvio Berlusconi had managed to further close the gap - in election polls - between himself and political rival Pier Luigi Bersani to just 3.7 percentage points. That was according to the latest poll carried out by SkyTG24. That may be attributable to promises to help Italians keep the tax-man away from their homes, typically one of their main 'stores of value.'

Shares of Apple earlier led the market higher on the back of a report in today's Financial Times (FT) citing well-known fund manager Bill Miller as saying that Apple's share price would be 50% higher just if the company kept all of its $137bn in cash and just put future free cash flow into the dividend.

On a more negative note, another FT article today cites IMF research according to which authorities pursuit of greater levels of collateral for non-centrally traded derivatives could require the use of between $2 tn and $4tn in additional collateral. That could hinder central banks' efforts to butress economic activity.

Zynga (NasdaqGS: ZNGA - news) is higher after the release of better than expected results yesterday.

According to some published reports Hewlett-Packard is considering a break-up of the company.

Online travel-booking service Expedia (NasdaqGS: EXPE - news) has posted fourth quarter sales of $974.9m, which came in well ahead of consensus forecasts.

10 year US Treasury yields are falling by 3 basis points to the 1.96% mark.

Front month West Texas crude futures are now off by 0.14% to the 96.55 dollar level on the NYMEX.

S&P 500 - Risers
Ralph Lauren Corp (RL) $176.88 +7.26%
Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN) $59.41 +5.71%
First Solar Inc (Xetra: A0LEKM - news) . (FSLR) $30.49 +5.07%
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG - news) . (CMG) $320.23 +4.99%
Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX - news) . (TWX) $52.25 +4.58%
United States Steel Corp (NYSE: X - news) . (X) $23.15 +4.37%
Netflix Inc (NasdaqGS: NFLX - news) . (NFLX) $181.47 +4.06%
Moody's Corp. (MCO) $46.82 +3.84%
Allegheny Technologies Inc (NYSE: ATI - news) . (ATI) $33.34 +3.60%
Biogen Idec Inc (NasdaqGS: BIIB - news) . (BIIB) $162.38 +3.19%

S&P 500 - Fallers
CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (NasdaqGS: CHRW - news) (CHRW) $60.53 -9.67%
GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME - news) . (GME) $24.67 -7.98%
AGL Resources Inc (NYSE: GAS - news) . (GAS) $40.14 -4.79%
AFLAC Inc (NYSE: AFL - news) . (AFL) $50.98 -4.69%
CME Group Inc (NasdaqGS: CME - news) . (CME) $56.87 -3.90%
Genworth Financial Inc (NYSE: GNW - news) . (GNW) $8.89 -3.05%
Wynn Resorts Ltd (NasdaqGS: WYNN - news) . (WYNN) $122.05 -2.94%
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $65.64 -2.75%
National Oilwell Varco Inc (NYSE: NOV - news) . (NOV) $66.69 -2.23%
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP (Taiwan OTC: 4747.TWO - news) ) $19.37 -2.22%

Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $16.90 +1.75%
3M Co. (MMM) $102.78 +1.27%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $54.83 +0.99%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $38.39 +0.66%
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) (JNJ) $74.87 +0.29%
Boeing Co (NYSE: BA - news) . (BA) $76.06 +0.22%
Bank of America Corp. (BAC) $11.90 +0.17%
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) $70.83 +0.08%
Cisco Systems Inc (NasdaqGS: CSCO - news) . (CSCO) $21.09 +0.05%
United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX - news) . (UTX) $89.30 +0.04%

Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $57.20 -0.99%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM (NYSE: IBM - news) ) $200.87 -0.95%
General Electric Co. (GE) $22.34 -0.89%
Merck & Co. Inc (Xetra: A0YD8Q - news) . (MRK) $41.07 -0.87%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $21.05 -0.61%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $78.29 -0.46%
American Express Co. (AXP) $60.44 -0.37%
Alcoa Inc (NYSE: AA - news) . (AA) $8.91 -0.34%
Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE - news) . (PFE) $27.42 -0.33%
JP Morgan Chase (Other OTC: JFTTL - news) & Co. (JPM) $48.65 -0.29%

Nasdaq 100 - Risers
Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) $162.38 +3.19%
Cerner Corp. (CERN) $85.82 +2.66%
Monster Beverage Corp (MNST) $49.56 +2.54%
Facebook Inc (NasdaqGS: FB - news) . (FB) $29.17 +1.85%
Micron Technology Inc (NasdaqGS: MU - news) . (MU) $8.02 +1.84%
Apple Inc. (AAPL) $465.97 +1.77%
Akamai Technologies Inc (NasdaqGS: AKAM - news) . (AKAM) $41.66 +1.49%
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) $47.25 +1.33%
Sandisk Corp (NasdaqGS: SNDK - news) . (SNDK) $50.43 +1.29%
Yahoo (NasdaqGS: YHOO - news) ! Inc. (YHOO) $19.89 +1.14%

Nasdaq 100 - Fallers
CH Robinson Worldwide Inc (CHRW) $60.53 -9.67%
Liberty Global Inc (NasdaqGS: LBTYA - news) . Series A (LBTYA) $64.44 -5.07%
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) $122.05 -2.94%
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $65.64 -2.75%
Virgin Media Inc (NasdaqGS: VMED - news) . (VMED) $44.46 -2.53%
Celgene Corp. (CELG) $98.05 -1.71%
Sirius XM Radio Inc (NasdaqGS: SIRI - news) (SIRI) $3.15 -1.56%
Gilead Sciences Inc (NasdaqGS: GILD - news) . (GILD) $39.99 -1.37%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NasdaqGS: ALXN - news) . (ALXN) $94.03 -1.35%
Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX) $55.03 -1.15%

AB