Okay, so it's the night before Christmas and all through the House (of Representatives) not a creature is stirring, not even John Boehner. Congress is off for the holiday, and the President is out in Hawaii. And here we are, one week from fiscal calamity. Surely, if this Fiscal Cliff doesn't get sorted out it will be one of the worst failures of Congress of all time. Nevertheless, both Boehner and Obama agree there's still time. For me, if the few goons in Congress and the White House procrastinated all year only to hold all of America hostage until the last minute. They don't deserve to go off for a holiday.
And so the market is set to open flattish on the day. For that matter, markets around the world seemed to take a breather today. People seem to acknowledge that whatever comes out of this circus in Washington is going to really set the tone for the world economy for Q1 2013. And the thing is, 2013 could be pretty good as things had been looking a tad brighter, namely in China, up to this point.
Since collapsing to a four-year low earlier this month, the Shanghai Composite is up 10%:
Back here in America, there's obvious concern on behalf of consumers and businesses alike, but that doesn't mean we've tapped out. ComScore gave out some holiday online shopping figures that suggest spending is in fact up decently from a year ago, although people appear to have left it to the last minute this year. Overall online retail sales are up 16% since November 1, with a big boost coming just last week.
One question here may be whether or not retailers resorted to last-minute discounts to get buyers to budge.