On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Kathy Willens / Associated…)
NEW YORK -- After falling more than 1%, stocks nearly erased their losses after the U.S. House scheduled a Sunday session to address the looming "fiscal cliff."
The Dow Jones industrial average at one point fell about 150 points, dipping below 13,000, after a report showing consumer confidence declined in December likely because of uncertainties over the impending automatic tax hikes and spending cuts at year's end.
The Dow closed down 18 points, or 0.1%, to 13,096. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 lost 2 points, or 0.1%, closing at 1,418. The Nasdaq was down 4 points, or 0.1%, at 2,986.
The stock market will likely see more wild swings as investors react to any news hinting that lawmakers and President Obama can (or can't) defuse the impending fiscal crisis by Monday or shortly into the New Year.
Trading volumes are also light this week, between the Christmas and New Year's holidays, and that can magnify swings.
“You have to take all the moves today with a grain of salt," said Wasif Latif, vice president of Equity Investment at USAA Investments. "Volumes are very, very thin. It doesn’t take a whole lot of news, or trading for that matter, to move the market because of the low volume.”
Until investors get a clearer idea of how Washington will fix the fiscal cliff, Latif said, "you’re likely to continue to see this manic-depressive behavior in the market."
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