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MLR - Premarket Pulse December 31, 2012

Markets sold off for a fifth day on lower holiday volume. With the fiscal cliff a heartbeat away and no resolution in sight, markets are pessimistic of an agreement before the deadline. If an agreement is not reached, the $600 billion in tax increases and spending reductions are widely seen as enough to push the economy into recession. Senators on Sunday night were trying to come to agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, but no agreement was reached. “There’s still significant distance between the two sides, but negotiations continue,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday evening on the Senate floor. Reid said his chamber would meet again at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Monday.

The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) have been unable to rally after their big selloff, underscoring concerns the markets will fall over the fiscal cliff.

Former leading stocks such as Apple (AAPL) are trading close to their lows, while other nascent leaders have run into difficulty. though there is the rare stock bucking the downtrend such as Three D Systems Corp (DDD). The issue with a stock such as DDD, despite its winning fundamentals, is its volatile chart pattern combined with a difficult general market environment making it hard to hold even for the most determined long-side player. With the Fiscal Cliff looming large today and no agreement being reached so far with only hours left as of this pre-market writing, the market remains in a fragile, news-vulnerable position.

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