The Straits Times
Published on Dec 01, 2012

US stocks manage gains despite 'cliff' overhang


NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks managed gains for a second straight week, as investors clung to the belief that politicians will resolve the looming fiscal cliff crunch.

The pending threat of higher capital gains and dividend taxes next year, whatever the resolution of the negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, failed to dim sentiment.

And some stocks, like Costco and Walmart, spurred higher because of it, as firms announced special dividends and moved forward regular payouts to before Dec 31, to avoid an expected increase in the tax rate.

The broad-based S&P 500 managed a 0.5 per cent gain for the week, to end at 1,416.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 blue chips gained 0.12 per cent, to 13,025.58, while the Nasdaq Composite put on 1.46 per cent, ending the week at 3,010.24.