US equities settled in negative territory with uncertainty weighing on the indices after Bernanke’s comments yesterday that stimulus measures would not necessarily continue until the self imposed threshold of 6.5% unemployment and 2.5% inflation, as dictated by Evans Rule. Also contributing to the move to the downside was pessimism regarding fiscal cliff negotiations, a deal has still not been reached and hopes that a compromise will be struck before Christmas is slipping away with House Speaker Boehner saying that he was going home to Ohio for Christmas today, although he has agreed to meet Obama this evening. Markets failed to derive any direction from positive macro data including a sharp fall in Initial Jobless Claims and a beat in Retail Sales which painted a better picture for consumer confidence. In terms of stocks all 10 sectors in the S&P 500 settled with losses, Health Care leading the way with losses of 0.85%. Nabor Industries lost 4.61% after being cut to underperform from hold at Jefferies. Finally, the DJIA finished down 0.56% at 13170.72, the S&P 500 finished down 0.63% at 1419.45 and the NASDAQ 100 finished down 0.77% at 2654.01.
13 Dec 2012 - 21:11 - Equities Bank Speaker - Source: RANsquawk