U.S. stocks decline after House Republicans cancel budget vote

Bank of America Corp. lost 2%

Nike Beats

Nike rallied 6.2 percent to $105.10 after second-quarter profit of $1.14 per share topped the average analyst estimate of $1 per share. That excludes the $137 million in losses associated with the Umbro and Cole Haan businesses Nike is selling or has sold.

Red Hat Inc. rose 4.5 percent to $54.99. The company reported third-quarter sales of $343.6 million in the period that ended Nov. 30, compared with the average analyst forecast of $338.1 million.

Ameristar Casinos Inc. surged 20 percent to $26.50. Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. agreed to buy the Las Vegas-based company for $900 million, more than doubling in size to 17 casino resorts. Pinnacle jumped 21 percent to $16.20.

Risk perceptions for U.S. equities have risen to the highest level in four years compared with European stocks as the American economy faces a recession should lawmakers fail to reach a budget agreement.

VIX, VStoxx

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the gauge of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index option prices, rose to 17.67 this month through yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level since December 2008 versus Europe’s VStoxx Index, which closed at 15.76 yesterday. U.S. equities are lagging behind Europe, with the S&P 500 up 13 percent from its June 1 low, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has gained 20 percent since then.

The VIX jumped 1 percent to 17.84 today, as the VStoxx climbed 14 percent to 17.89.

“The relative prices of risk prices have been suggesting that risk has become more US centric,” Dean Curnutt, chief executive officer of New York-based Macro Risk Advisors LLC which specializes in derivatives strategy, wrote in a note today. It “points to the fear in the market that U.S. politicians will be unable to pass a fiscal cliff resolution.”

Bloomberg News

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