Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published December 13, 2010 at 4:58 AM | Page modified December 13, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Stocks end mixed ahead of Senate vote on tax deal

Stocks ended flat Monday after expectations that a tax-cut package will pass the Senate kept them higher for much of the day.

AP Business Writers

S&P 500 index intraday trading


Biggest Puget Sound companies


Stock Market Finance Widgets
NEW YORK —

Stocks ended flat Monday after expectations that a tax-cut package will pass the Senate kept them higher for much of the day.

The tax-cut compromise brokered by the White House and Republicans was scheduled for its first Senate vote late Monday.

If enacted, the package will extend tax cuts passed during the Bush administration for all income levels for another two years. It will also extend unemployment benefits through next year and put in place a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes.

Economists expect the nearly $900 billion tax package to boost economic growth and increase the size of the budget deficit. House Democrats have pledged to block the measure unless tax rates rise for the nation's wealthiest estates.

Traders were also encouraged by a handful of deals announced Monday. General Electric Co. is paying $1.3 billion to buy British oilfield company Wellstream Holdings PLC and Dell Inc. is spending $960 million for network storage company Compellent Technologies Inc.

The S&P 500 index eked out a new 2010 high for the fourth time in four days. The index rose 0.06 point to 1,240.46.

Other indexes took a late afternoon spill. The Dow Jones industrial average closed with a gain of 18.24, or 0.16 percent, to 11,428.56, having been up as many as 70 points earlier. The Dow is now just 15.52 points from its 2010 closing high, reached Nov. 5.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 12.63, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,624.91. That snapped a six-day streak in which the index notched new 2010 highs.

Falling shares and rising ones were almost evenly matched on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume was 4.4 billion shares.

The tax plan has crushed the prices of Treasury bonds since it was announced last week. The yield of 10-year Treasurys rose to 3.36 percent early Monday before falling to 3.28. Treasurys reversed course after the Federal Reserve bought $7.8 billion in government bonds coming due between 2016 and 2017. Treasury yields have been mainly rising over the past month.

"It looks like the big trade going on right now is that money is working its way out of bonds and into stocks," said Ryan Detrick, a senior strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. "We think that is only going to continue as the economy starts looking better."

World stock markets rose. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.8 percent after Chinese authorities surprised investors by not raising interest rates. Investors had anticipated an interest rate hike to combat high inflation.

advertising

Blue chip stocks in Europe rose 0.2 percent. The dollar fell 0.9 percent against an index of six currencies.

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard Co. fell 2.1 percent to $41.65 after Goldman Sachs gave the hardware company a sell rating. Goldman's analysts see tablet computers, such as Apple Inc.'s iPad, taking business away from PCs.

Shares in Dionex Corp. shot up 20 percent to $117.83, after Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. said Monday it planned to buy the maker of laboratory equipment for $2.1 billion. Thermo Fisher said it will pay $118.50 a share. Shares in Thermo Fisher rose 4.7 percent to $55.56.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook

More Business & Technology headlines...

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Advertising