Global stocks surge over U.S. fiscal cliff deal

“U.S. stock futures surged as part of a global rally for equities, with investors extending their New Year celebration after Congress reached a budget agreement,” Tomi Kilgore reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Congress passed legislation late Tuesday that prevented most impending tax increases and postponed spending cuts by two months, while raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans.”

“About 90 minutes ahead of the open, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shot up 193 points, or 1.5%, to 13220,” Kilgore reports. “Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index futures climbed 26 points, or 1.8%, to 1446 and Nasdaq 100 futures powered up 53 points, or 2%, to 2708. Changes in stock futures don’t always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.”

Kilgore reports, “European markets rallied sharply, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up 1.9% and on track for the highest close since February 2011, as the U.S. budget deal overshadowed some disappointing economic data. Among regional markets, Germany’s shot up 2.2% to a five-year high and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 2.3% to a 1 1/2-year high… Apple climbed 2.8% ahead of the open, after running up 4.4% on Monday.”

Read more in the full article here.

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16 Comments

  1. Observing American politics from the sidelines (being a foreigner, I have no horse in that race), it seems to me that there is a profound shift in American political game. Ultra-radical conservatives continue to believe that they have a mandate, based on their current numbers in the Congress. This doesn’t quite compute with the election results; at least not according to their own rules of the game. When GWB was re-elected (in 2004), his margin of victory (in electoral votes, as well as popular vote) was narrower than BHO’s two months ago; yet, back then, everyone on the right side of the political spectrum was declaring a clear mandate for the sitting president, while today, everyone from the same side claims that the election win was a “squeaker”… I know many of vocal political voices on this forum were still in middle school back then, and don’t quite remember, but you can easily look this up.

    American political conservatives will need to carefully re-evaluate their two political pillars if they would like to remain politically relevant (social and fiscal). The buzzword “compassionate conservative” was invented back then to placate the part of the populace that was growing increasingly uncomfortable with parts of the conservative platform that showed little concern for the less fortunate. As the country’s demographics continue their shift towards that group (minorities, immigrants, Hispanics), the political parties need to begin their adjustment to the new realities. While it is likely very difficult to notice in smaller towns across the country, the face of the American nation has significantly changed over the past 20 years, and the pace of that change is increasing. The last year saw the white American majority losing the plurality of the population (i.e. they no longer represent more than half of the population, although they are still the largest group). This clearly is no longer the country of the original framers of the constitution. The “originalists” arguments are growing weaker and weaker.

    1. Predrag, you always preface your comments with ‘being European’ and ‘not having a horse in this race’ then go on to espouse the liberal viewpoint while showing you still don’t have a grasp of Conservatives by simply repeating the views you have read without the knowledge to challenge them so you slovenly accept the premise.

      If you live in America, work in America, and pay taxes in America, you have a horse in our race. Problem is it’s a high horse you are on and you don’t even realize it.

      1. TowerTone,

        I really appreciate the civility in your tone (often completely absent from many when they are about American politics).

        I do work (and live) mostly in America (although I don’t have any tax liability to the US, other than what I pay through retail and similar taxes). I genuinely have no horse in the race, and it is just my own fascination with American political discourse that keeps me following it somewhat closely.

        I’m quite familiar with the essence of the conservative movement in America, but I’m pretty sure my assessment of political realities (especially considering the rapid demographic changes) is correct. We may agree to disagree on this.

    2. I completely agree with you, Predrag. The political situation is changing even more rapidly than American racial demographics. Thinking that they still have a mandate, and living in their own little echo chambers, Republicans have allowed themselves to be viewed as the driving force behind cutting what they call “entitlements”. By “entitlements” they mean Social Security and Medicare, as well as Welfare. There is an exploding demographic of seniors who have worked hard their whole lives and paid into these programs, and are now retiring. This demographic views Republicans as wanting to steal those benefits to provide tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. Social Security has always been the third rail of American politics. Republicans are gleefully tap dancing on it, not knowing how deadly it can be. I suspect they will be unpleasantly surprised come 2014, and even more so in 2016 if they do not wake up.

      1. Zeke
        Your oversimplification of the Republican position is symbolic of the problem.

        The tax raise will do nothing for those programs you mentioned.
        Republicans have not proposed cuts to people who have earned them (not even Ryan)
        Spending just outpaced tax hikes again, which is why Conservatives oppose them.

      2. It seems to be that in America, there is a fundamental lack of clear understanding between the concepts of entitlements and welfare (or any other social programmes that are essentially funded by the government). Social Security, as well as Medicare, are entitlement programmes that have been designed to be self-supporting insurance plans, and are funded by the payroll taxes (which so far have never been challenged by either American political party). They are entitlements, in the sense that working people who pay into these programmes rightfully expect to benefit from them at some point. The fact that these two trust funds (which is what they essentially are) seem to be moving towards insolvency is NOT caused by the runaway government spending (it in fact has nothing to do with it); it is merely caused by people living longer (and thus requiring social security longer, or requiring medical attention longer), this mostly thanks to advances in health care over the past decades. Reducing entitlements that working Americans have paid into throughout their lives would mean punishing them for irresponsible spending by the government to which they entrusted their money.

        1. Actually, a lot of SS payout goes to people that did not spend their entire adult lives paying into it. Some of these people need it for disabilities, and, of course, many are just gaming it.

          Also, if you set an age that you have to wait longer, say 45 year olds have to wait till 70 and have it graduated or whatever, they will still get the benefits that SS was set up to payout.

          It was never meant to pay for a comfortable retirement for 15 years. But then again, it is a pyramid scheme, so naturally it needs to be reformed, which means it never will…..

  2. Yikes! Wonder how much longer the economy will be able to hold its breath.

    Any real solution is going to hurt until the real problems are addressed, acted upon and given time to heal the economy, so I don’t know why “they” keep trying to find solutions that won’t hurt – it’s simply not possible.

    Oh yeah, I remember why – we wouldn’t vote for anybody who actually hit us with the truth and asked all of us to buck up and bite the bullet while we really do what it takes to get out of debt.

  3. I’m definitely a conservative on most issues, especially social issues where it is often hard to find middle ground or compromise.
    But in the fiscal realm you truly can “split the difference” and compromise and move on. Watching both sides of the aisle simply revert to political posturing every time they have to deal with the tough economic issues is completely maddening. Social Security, Medicare and now Obamacare need some serious fixes and doing it now will be a lot easier than 10 years from now.

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