The U.S. economy added 155,000 payrolls in December, pretty much right in line with expectations. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.8%.
Days after Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to kill 20 first graders and six adults at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, California's Treasurer urged the state's Teacher's pension fund to sell its stake in Cerebus Capital Management which owns the Bushmaster manufacturer.
The scenario for stocks in 2013 hinges on whether an already mature bull market can find the right combination of supplements and psychology to age gracefully for another year.
In his latest book, The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin argues that most of us have been "brainwashed" and need to "do something ridiculous" in order to succeed in the new economy.
So much for the lost decade. Despite an economy in recession and a government debt burden twice the size of its GDP, Japan's stock market rallied 23% last year--its biggest gain since 2005 and more than twice the profit in U.S. stocks.
Last year was not a good year for initial public offerings. Only 128 companies managed to IPO compared with the 154 that did in 2011 and the long term average of nearly 200 per year. The median proceeds raised by IPOs fell by 23% and 40% of companies ended up worth less than their initial price ranges.
Big banks overall had a phenomenal year in 2012.
For example, shares of Bank of America (BAC) gained 107.3% last year, making it one of the best performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI).
But will the bull-run in bank stocks continue in 2013?
U.S. markets cheered the fiscal cliff bill on Wednesday morning, with all the major market indexes up more than 2% in recent trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) rose 259 points to 13,364 and the S&P 500 Index (GSPC) climbed 30 points to 1,456.
To listen to the moaning of some Republicans in the House of Representatives, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Republicans are losing the fiscal battle in Washington.
Actually, they're winning.
To see this, you just need to step back and look at the tax deal and the country's fiscal trends from a broader perspective.
The "fiscal cliff" has been avoided after last minute negotiations between the White House and Congress. President Obama is expected to sign the bill that House members approved late Tuesday night.