Stocks Finish with Daily Gains, Weekly Losses

U.S. stocks on Friday finished up for the day but down on the week, as optimistic words followed the opening round of negotiations on averting automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to begin Jan. 1.  Rising for the first session this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.93 points, or 0.37%, to 12,588.31, leaving it down 1.8% for the week. The S&P 500 index climbed 6.55 points, or 0.48%, to 1,359.88, off 1.5% from the week-ago close. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 16.19 points, or 0.57%, to 2,853.13, leaving it down 1.8% for the week.

Top congressional Democrats and Republicans said Friday they had a constructive meeting with President Barack Obama aimed at averting the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of the year.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Credit Suisse Group AG will pay a combined $416.9 million to settle U.S. civil charges that they misled investors in the sale of risky mortgage bonds prior to the 2008 financial crisis, regulators said on Friday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is taking its first legal step to stop months of protests and rallies outside Walmart stores, targeting the union that it says is behind such actions.






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