Market Wrap: Lawmakers Call Special Cliff Meeting; SeaWorld is Going Public; Confidence Falls

December 27, 2012 5:04 PM EST
Market wrap-up for December 27th

End of the Day: S&P 500 down 1.7 to 1,418.10; Dow Jones down 18.3 to 13,096.31; Nasdaq down 4.3 to 2,985.91

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:

* Stocks showed a late rise on Thursday following news that the House will hold a special meeting on Sunday night at 6:30pm. House Speaker Boehner told lawmakers the news during a conference call today, while Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Obama would be meeting with congressional leaders tomorrow.

Early on the session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) commented that it 'looks like the U.S. will go over the cliff' as the Dec. 31 deadline nears.

Notably, crude prices rose following the news and ended the session in positive territory following a gain of over $2 per barrel on Wednesday.

* Following compensation of about $378 million in 2011, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook took home just $4.17 million this for the fiscal year ended in September. Mostly, Cook made the gain in 2011 from a one-million stock grant, which accounted for $376.2 million and will be paid over the next 10 years. This year, Cook received a base pay of $1.36 million and $2.8 million in incentives.

Hopefully Mr. Cook doesn't look at the fact that his one million shares would've garnered him 76 percent more last September. For a more-itemized look at the compensation, click here.

* SeaWorld Entertainment filed for an IPO today. The Blackstone-sponsored "infotainment" park set an IPO price of $100 million, though many expect the offering to go for more than that. For more on the filing, including advisors and financials, click here.

* U.S. consumer confidence slipped more than expected in December as Americans remained negative about the short-term outlook. According to new data out Thursday, The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 65.1, from 71.5 in November and expectations calling for a reading of 70. For more color, click here.

* New home sales rose in November by the most in two years, but still came up a little shy of expectations. According to data from the U.S. Commerce Department, new home sales were 377,000 in November, up from 361,000 in October and expectations calling for 380,000. For more color, click here.

* DIRECTV (Nasdaq: DTV) will be boosting prices 4.5 percent on programming packages starting February 7, 2013. For more color, click here.

* Lightower Fiber Networks and Sidera Networks signed a definitive agreement for a transaction valued at over $2 billion led by Berkshire Partners, a Boston-based investment firm, and management, to acquire and merge both companies.

M/C Partners and Pamlico Capital acquired Lightower from National Grid plc in August 2007. Pamlico Capital, a significant Lightower investor, and ABRY Partners, a significant Sidera investor, will remain as investors in the new company.

The combined company will retain the Lightower name and operate a 20,000-mile network connecting 6,000 locations in the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

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