East coast docks manage to avoid a massive strike and Starbucks comes under fire by a top economist for venturing into political complexities. Here's the Friday Bloomberg After The Bell Report from the New York Stock Exchange.
American Stock Exchange
2324.06 down 17.01
2960.31 down 25.60
Standard And Poors 500
1402.43 down 15.67
Dockworkers and their employers avert a potential strike that would've crippled east coast shipping. While the two sides will continue negotiations for another month, they have reached a tentative deal that will keep ports from Maine to Texas open.
As the U.S. economy braces for the possibility of going over the fiscal cliff next week, more Americans signed contracts to buy homes last month and business activity improved in December, signs that the economy will be able to withstand budget uncertainty. Stocks fell on continued concerns over the fiscal cliff.
Starbucks made headlines this week when CEO Howard Schultz had Baristas in Washington, D.C. sent a budget message to Congress by writing "come together" on coffee cups, but the move left a sour taste for some. In Friday's New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman criticized Schulz for what he calls a "double shot of misunderstanding."
Schultz referred to the issue as a debt problem while the Times piece points out the fiscal cliff is actually a series of tax hikes and spending cuts.