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1) With Washington bickering over issues such as the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling, pessimism among small business owners remains near the worst levels in recorded history. The National Federation of Independent Business, the leading nonprofit small business association representing small and independent businesses, said its Small Business Optimism Index edged 0.50 points higher to 88.0 in December, compared to 79.5 in the previous month. The November sentiment was the eighth worst reading since the organization started keeping track of the monthly index in 1986… (Read more.)
2) The last remaining member of President Obama’s first-term economic team, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, has told White House officials that his tenure is over. As Geithner will end his term at the end of the month, the position has been offered to White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew… (Read more.)
3) Jeff Gundlach, bond legend and founder of DoubleLine Capital, held his first conference call and presentation of the year last night. The event revealed his outlook on the global economy and various issues for 2013… (Read more.)
At the close: DJIA: +0.46%, S&P 500: +0.20%, NASDAQ: +0.45%.
Oil was effectively flat at $93.15 per barrel. Gold was off about 0.30 percent to $1,657.10 per ounce, while yields for the U.S. 10-year note fell slightly to 1.864 percent.
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