Dec. 12 - Summary: The Republican led house passed a two-year budget deal, the vote now goes to the Senate. Stocks fall again as a gain in retail sales could lead the Federal Reserve closer to reducing stimulus. Conway G. Gittens reports.
There was enough good news to go around on Thursday but it went un-noticed when you look at the final numbers on Wall Street. Stocks tumbled for a third straight day with blue chips down more than a hundred points for the second day in a row. Consumers were willing to spend in November. Retail sales rose more-than-expected with particular gains seen in sales of bigger ticket items and that bodes well for the overall economy. But that of course has some economists tinkering with Federal Reserve expectations. Bob Brusca of Fact and Opinion Economics: SOUNDBITE: ROBERT BRUSCA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FACT AND OPINION ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We had a reasonably good retail sales report. We had a jobs report that was better than some people thought. But the numbers have not been dramatically better. So I think that there are some people that just think that the probability of the Fed doing something is a little bit greater. I still think they will wait until next year. They will have a new chairman in place and I think it's really her decision about where they want to start the taper or not." Meanwhile, the move towards a federal budget deal clears another hurdle. The full House of Representatives approved the bipartisan two-year budget, which avoids another bruising fight and a possible shutdown early next year. Other positive news: Hilton's first day of trade shows demand for IPOs is still robust after a solid year for debuts. The hotel chain raised more than $2.3 billion. And it was a heavy day for new offerings including food service company Aramark. Shares of Hilton finished the day with a gain of 7-1/2 percent and Aramark surged 13-1/2 percent. Instagram is hoping to bolster its street cred with the younger set. The photo-sharing service will now allow users to send private images and messages to up to 15 people at a time. Previously, anything posted was available for viewing by all of Instagram's 150 million monthly users. Instagram is a unit of Facebook, which by the way is joining the S&P 500. Facebook shares were up 5 percent. Finally, Ukraine's deputy premier says his country is close to signing a trade deal with the European Union - a move favored by anti-government protesters. As for major European markets - they finished lower across the board.