Fiscal Cliff Nerves On Edge: Market Happenings For Thursday, December 20, 2012

Premarket, futures are mixed and near unchanged. Gainers this morning include ISRG (+31.81%), JBL, KMX, ORCL and CAG while losers include ACN (-5.18%), ICE, MRK, DFS and TGT.

The Market

Eleven days remain to resolve the fiscal cliff.

The government released its final estimate of third-quarter GDP growth which shows a 3.1% annual rate. That’s up from the 2.7 percent pace reported last month.

Jobless claims rose by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000. The prior week’s figure was revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported.

Bank of America (BAC) is at a 52 week high again and there are no Dow stock 52 week lows.

According to Zillow (Z), home values gained an estimated 6 percent in the U.S. this year, the first increase since 2006, as the housing market began to recover from its worst slump since the 1930s.

The national average price of gasoline is up seven-tenths of a cent to $3.219 per gallon.

Earnings Reports

Earnings reports (ranked by market cap): NKE-Nike (Consensus: $1.00), CCL-Carnival (0.11), DFS-Discover (1.13), CAG-Conagra Foods (0.55), RHT-Red Hat (0.29), KMX-Carmax (0.39), MU-Micron Tech (-0.21), CFN-Carefusion (0.43), DRI-Darden Restaurants (0.30), CTAS-Cintas (0.62), TIBX-Tibco (0.37), KBH-KB Home (0.06).

Financial Calendar

0830 ET Weekly initial unemployment claims expected +17,000 to 360,000, previous -29,000 to 343,000. Weekly continuing claims expected +2,000 to 3.200 mln, previous -23,000 to 3.198 mln.

0830 ET Q3 GDP expected revised to +2.8% from estimate +2.7% q/q annualized. Q3 personal consumption expected unrevised at +1.4%. Q3 GDP price index expected unrevised at +2.7%. Q3 core PCE expected unrevised at +1.1%.

0830 ET USDA weekly Export Sales.

1000 ET Dec Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index expected +7.7 to -3.0, Nov -16.4 to -10.7.

1000 ET Nov existing home sales expected +2.3% to 4.90 mln, Oct +2.1% m/m at 4.79 mln.

1000 ET Oct FHFA house price index expected +0.3% m/m, Sep +0.2% m/m.

1000 ET Nov leading indicators expected -0.2%, Oct +0.2% m/m.

1300 ET Treasury auction of $14 bln in 5-year TIPS.

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