Bucking the recent trend, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) actually gained ground today, after Congressional leaders expressed optimism about a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. The blue chips actually shot up over 100 points in just 30 minutes after that announcement was made, going from negative to positive territory, and finished up 45 points or 0.4%.
Following the discussion on the fiscal cliff, Republican leaders said that new revenues would be on the table as long as there were significant spending cuts. This was President Obama's third such meeting on the fiscal cliff this week, as he's solicited viewpoints from different stakeholders in the economy, which included labor and business leaders. In other macroeconomic news, the Federal Reserve reported that industrial production declined slightly in October, by 0.4%.
Movement among individual Dow stocks today was relatively mild. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) was the biggest laggard, falling 1.8%, after rival Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) reported a disappointing quarter. Dell dropped by 7.3% to three-year lows, as third-quarter sales fell by 11% to $13.7 billion, and the company's guidance also came in under estimates. HP, which tends to travel in tandem with Dell, took a sympathy hit, as investors are increasingly nervous about its quarterly report next Tuesday. The PC maker fell to new lows on the news; the stock has been battered since CEO Meg Whitman said revenue growth might not return until 2015. Analysts estimated third-quarter profits at $1.14 per share.
In late news, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) and Credit Suisse agreed to pay a combined $417 million to the SEC to settle charges that it misled investors by selling faulty mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis. JPMorgan will pay nearly $296 in damages, but admitted no wrongdoing. No individuals were indicted in the matter.
Shares of JPMorgan were up slightly in after-hours trading, and considering its market cap of $150 billion, the $300 million will hardly be noticed. Find out if the country's biggest bank is a buy in our new premium ticker report all about the financial giant. This report offers the type of high-priced analysis you'd get from a brokerage, but we're giving it away for mere pocket change. To get your copy of this valuable insight now, all you have to do is click right here.