U.S. stocks finished positive but well off highs reached mid day as a speech by President Obama regarding the economy and more importantly the fiscal cliff added to continued stress in the market. The S&P 500 added 0.2% and the NASDAQ 0.3%. For the week the S&P fell 2.3%, its worst weekly decline since June 1.
- The University of Michigan's preliminary version of its consumer sentiment index for November came in at 84.9, topping forecasts of 82 and up from 82.6 last month.
- October export prices rose 0.2%, compared with a 0.7% increase in the prior month. Import prices edged up 0.3%, compared with a 0.2% gain the prior month.
Oil rose 98 cents to $86.07 a barrel. Gold was up $4.90 to $1,739.90 an ounce while silver added $0.36 to $32.60.
Britain's FTSE 100 closed down 0.1%, the DAX in Germany dropped 0.6%, while France's CAC 40added 0.5%.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.1% while Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.9%. China released a set of economic data which showed some pickup in activity, with inflation slowing:
- Industrial production rose 9.6% in October from a year earlier. That exceeded the 9.4% median estimate of analysts. The increase in industrial output was the most in five months and compared with 9.2% in September.
- Retail sales growth of 14.5% picked up from September’s 14.2%. Retail sales growth was the highest since March.
- The consumer-price index increased 1.7%. China’s consumer price gains have slowed from a three-year high of 6.5% in July last year as food costs eased.