Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke painted an upbeat picture on Saturday for the potential of innovation to lift living standards.» Read More
WASHINGTON, Dec 28- Contracts for U.S. home resales hit a 2-1/ 2 year high in November and factory activity in the Midwest expanded this month, suggesting some strength in the economy despite the threat of tighter fiscal policy.
*Obama to meet with congressional Democrats, Republicans at White House. NEW YORK, Dec 28- U.S. stocks fell on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a fifth straight decline, as President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders were to make a last-ditch attempt to steer the United States away from driving off the "fiscal cliff."
WASHINGTON, Dec 28- The White House on Friday urged dock workers, port owners and shippers to resolve a labor dispute that threatens to deteriorate into a strike that could affect 15 ports on the U.S.
*MSCI all-world index dips as U.S. stocks open lower. LONDON/ NEW YORK, Dec 28- Global stocks edged lower along with the euro on Friday as the White House and U.S. lawmakers planned to make a late effort to avoid the U.S. "
LONDON, Dec 28- German Bunds rose on Friday as investors sought safe-haven assets before a last-chance round of talks in the United States aimed at averting a fiscal crisis next year. In Italy, government bonds erased minor early losses after a sale of nearly 6 billion euros of five- and 10- year debt went smoothly.
WASHINGTON, Dec 28- Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes rose in November to their highest level in 2-1/ 2 years, an industry group said on Friday, further evidence of a strengthening housing market recovery.
Investors are focused on Washington as President Barack Obama and lawmakers launch a last-chance round of budget negotiations days before a New Year's deadline to reach a deal or watch the economy go off a "fiscal cliff."
*Obama to meet with congressional Democrats, Republicans at White House. Obama and lawmakers will meet at the White House Friday afternoon for talks before a New Year's deadline to keep large tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect and threatening the economy with recession.
*Obama calls Democratic, Republican leaders to White House at 3 p.m.. "Obviously all eyes will be on Washington and the headlines coming out of Washington will dictate today's market movement," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
WASHINGTON, Dec 28- President Barack Obama and congressional leaders were set to meet on Friday for the first time since November with no sign of progress in resolving their differences over the federal budget and low expectations for a "fiscal cliff" deal before Jan. 1.
NEW YORK, Dec 28- U.S. stock index futures fell on Friday, putting the benchmark S&P 500 index on track for a fifth straight decline as legislators prepared to resume talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
Failure to clinch a deal in the U.S. could trigger safe-haven buying of bullion, but if the White House and Congress finally reach an agreement, gold may track stock markets higher. It has come off a 4- month low of $1,635.09 struck on Dec. 20, but remains well below a record high of around $1,920 hit in September 2011.
*Frankfurt market closing early on Friday. PARIS, Dec 28- European shares were steady in early trade on Friday as investors waited to see if a deal to avoid the U.S. " Resource-related shares gained ground, with Rio Tinto up 0.5 percent and Anglo American up 0.3 percent, boosted by recent data showing signs that top consumer China's economy is improving.
PARIS, Dec 28- European shares inched higher in early trade on Friday, lifted by fresh hopes that a deal will be reached on time to avoid the U.S. " President Barack Obama and lawmakers are set to have a last round of talks before a New Year's deadline to reach a deal and avoid massive tax hikes and spending cuts which could drag the economy into recession. 1/ 8 ID:.
Failure to clinch a deal in the U.S. would likely spur safe-haven buying of bullion, but since many investors have both equities and gold in their portfolios, the metal may also track stock markets higher if the White House and Congress finally reach an agreement. Gold fell $1.58 to $1,661.71 an ounce by 0649 GMT after rising to as high as $1,665.99.
Markets here will be closed for the long New Year's holiday in Japan, and will reopen on Jan. 4. " Republican leaders in the House of Representatives told their members to be back in Washington from the Christmas holiday break on Sunday in case they need to vote on budget measures, leaving the door open to a last-minute solution to the U.S. budget impasse. "
*MSCI Asia ex- Japan, Nikkei set for best year since 2005. TOKYO, Dec 28- The yen fell to its lowest level in more than two years on Friday, lifting Japanese stocks to 21- month highs on expectations of drastic monetary easing, while shares in the rest of Asia rose as Washington races to avoid a fiscal crisis.
*White House to host budget talks with congressional leaders. Crude futures had edged up ahead of the oil inventory data as investors awaited a White House meeting later on Friday where lawmakers will try to cut a budget deal to avert looming automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that many fear will push the economy into recession.
*Dow down 0.5 pct, S&P 500 off 0.4 pct, Nasdaq off 0.2 pct. NEW YORK, Dec 28- U.S. stocks fell on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a fifth straight decline, as President Barack Obama and top congressional leaders were set to make a last-ditch attempt to steer the country away from severe fiscal austerity next year.
WASHINGTON, Dec 28- First Tennessee Bank and a U.S. affiliate of Spanish bank BBVA were among the largest borrowers from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program in late 2010, according to data released on Friday.