Samsung’s Ambition, a Narrow Dodge, and the Looming Cliff: Market Recap

The markets closed down on Friday as the fiscal cliff deadline rapidly approaches. Just one full workday remains before the new year, and hope has waned that lawmakers will find a solution in time. President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders to make what could be a final proposal before House Republicans return to make their final decision.

At the close: DJIA: -1.21%, S&P 500: -1.10%, Nasdaq: -0.86%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) fell 0.11 percent to $90.77 per barrel. Precious metals also dropped, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling 0.41 percent to $1,657.10 per ounce, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) falling 0.61 percent to $30.06 per ounce about 2 minutes after the bell.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to Friday’s top stock stories:Nook HD+

Shares of Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) jumped as much as 9.7 percent in morning trading before simmering down to 5.5 percent following news that Pearson (NYSE:PSO) will invest $89.5 million in NOOK Media in exchange for a 5 percent stake… (Read more.)

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Almost as if Samsung (SSNLF.PK) wasn’t content to become the number one cell phone brand worldwide this year, the company wants to increase its sales further next year to a staggering 510 million phones, of which around 390 million would be smartphones… (Read more.)

Will 2013 See a New Airline? The pilot union of AMR’s (AAMRQ.PK) American Airlines warned that the carrier’s merger with US Airways (NYSE:LCC) may be postponed until it has exited restructuring unless unions from both airlines can agree on interim contract terms. While this delay does not immediately threaten the possibility of a merger, it does provide a more favorable opportunity for American creditors to sway the carrier’s bankruptcy proceedings. If creditors block the proposal, American will face a difficult road to financial recovery because it will be left behind in the industry’s trend toward consolidation… (Read more.)

For Better or Worse, China Passes Internet Identity Law: Chinese Internet stocks dropped across the board on December 24 as news circulated that the top legislature in the country would begin deliberation on a law that would require all web users to register their real identity with the government in order to obtain access to the Internet. On Friday, the news broke that the law had been passed and, contrary to fears raised earlier in the week, Chinese Internet stocks trekked upwards, even as the major indices fell… (Read more.)

“Container Cliff” Dodged as Mediators Reach Tentative Agreement: The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service issued a statement on December 28 stating that a tentative agreement has been reached between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, preventing a strike at East and Gulf Coast container ports that could have had a tremendous negative economic impact… (Read more.)

Friday’s Fiscal Cliff Meeting: President Barack Obama will likely be seeking a vote on a last-minute proposal that he brought to a Friday afternoon meeting with congressional leaders. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) will assume a huge amount of the responsibility for rallying their parties if any solution is to be found.

Don’t Miss: Is Obama Bringing a Workable Solution to Friday’s Fiscal Cliff Meeting?