It was a pretty depressing week on Wall Street, as markets moved steadily lower all week. Only one Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) component was in the black, and the index moved 1.92% lower for the week. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) also fell 1.93% for the week on broad losses.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was the sole winner on the Dow this week, moving just 0.6% higher. Going over the fiscal cliff would be bad news for the megabank, but this week there was continued data showing improvement in the housing industry, and that bolstered the stock. In a Thursday report, new-home sales rose to an annual rate of 377,000, the highest level in two and a half years. Since Bank of America is heavily tied to the housing market, the company should see improved results if housing data continues to be strong. For now, the fiscal cliff hasn't deterred homebuyers, so the stock continues to move higher.
One of the more notable losers this week was Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), which fell 4.6%, driven by an investigation by the Justice Department. The government will be looking into Autonomy, the company's disastrous acquisition that has pushed the stock lower this year. The bad news keeps mounting for HP, and investors should look at this stock with a lot of skepticism.
The fiscal cliff will continue to dominate investor sentiment when markets open for a short day of trading on Monday. There is some optimism that some sort of fiscal cliff deal may be reached over the weekend, but a grand bargain appears to be out of the question for now. If a stalemate occurs, you can expect another ugly week. Of course, a deal could send stocks skyrocketing, so it's all in Washington's hands.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings, or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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