Tuesday Afternoon Cheat Sheet: 3 Stories That Moved Markets

The markets moved forward with a clear head today after Monday’s painful hangover. Positive economic indicators and strong earnings helped push the S&P 500 back above 1,500, but the Dow remains below 14,000 after breaking through on Friday.

At the close: DJIA: +0.71%, S&P 500: +1.04%, NASDAQ: +1.29%.

Here are three stories that helped move markets on Tuesday:

1) After four consecutive years of $1 trillion-plus deficits, the Congressional Budget Office says the deficit for fiscal 2013 will drop to $845 billion. This reduction is primarily due to the higher tax rate now paid by wealthier Americans and the expiration of the payroll tax holiday. In addition, spending reform is expected to help reduce federal debt, and by 2023 the debt burden held by the public could drop to 77 percent of GDP.

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umicore__silver_gold_bars19719394s72) The recent price action in gold and silver has been frustrating for some people. Both precious metals logged gains last year, but continue to remain in consolidation mode. On the positive side, though, bullion demand is still providing support to prices.

Due to the vulnerabilities of the global financial system and numerous quantitative easing programs, several nations are increasing their gold holdings. According to Bloomberg and data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government, gold imports into mainland China from Hong Kong nearly doubled to an all-time high last year. China, the world’s second-largest economy and the biggest gold consumer, imported a record 834,502 kilograms (834.5 metric tons), including scrap and coins, in 2012… (Read more.)

3) The 10-second takeaway from the January 2013 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report on Business is captured by a comment from Anthony Nieves, who chairs the Institute for Supply Management. Nieves said: “Respondents’ comments are mixed about the economy and business conditions; however, the majority of respondents are optimistic about the overall direction.”

January’s NMI came in at 55.2 percent, 0.5 points lower than December’s reading, but a fraction higher than estimates. This reading suggests that overall non-manufacturing business activity is growing, but the rate of growth has slowed down slightly. The 12-month average growth rate for the NMI is 54.5… (Read more.)

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