|14:05 EDT||ORCL, NYX, ELOQ, AAPL, ICE||Market set to end week little changed as cliff fears offset strong data|
Once again stocks are poised to finish the week little changed, as concerns about the looming fiscal cliff canceled out stronger than expected economic data... MACRO NEWS: House Speaker John Boehner decided not to hold a vote on his deficit reduction bill, after it became clear that the measure wouldn't pass the House due to opposition by Democrats and conservative Republicans. As of Friday afternoon, no solution to the looming fiscal cliff was visible, and investors were becoming more pessimistic about the chances of avoiding the cliff... On the other hand, several important pieces of U.S. economic data from November were better than expected. Existing home sales, durable goods orders, housing permits and personal income all beat expectations. But not all the economic data was bullish, as an index of consumer confidence for December, housing starts for November, and last week's new jobless claims were all slightly weaker than expected... COMPANY NEWS: Another positive development this week was the heating up of the M&A market. Among the bigger deals were the merger between IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and the NYSE Euronext (NYX) and the acquisition of software as a service marketing company Eloqua (ELOQ) by Oracle (ORCL)... Oracle also reported results, and its second quarter EPS and revenue both came in above analysts' consensus estimates... A federal judge denied a request by Apple (AAPL) to ban the sales of a number of Samsung's smartphones.