NEW YORK -- Monday is New Year's Eve, but it may feel more like Groundhog Day, as investors spend yet another day awaiting news out of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.
Investors are hoping that leaders will reach a breakthrough that will postpone at least some of the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect on Jan. 1. Congressional negotiators were at work Sunday, but went home without a deal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday there is "still significant distance between the two sides." Talks will continue Monday.
There is little news to distract investors from the fiscal cliff talks on Monday. There are no economic reports on tap, and not much in the way of company news.
An exception was a $665 million deal announced late Sunday to buy investment banking firm Duff & Phelps by a joint venture led by the Carlyle Group. Neither company's stock was moving yet in premarket trading, but Duff & Phelps shares are likely to rise on Monday as the offer price represented a 19% premium over Friday's close.
U.S. stocks closed lower for the fifth straight day Friday, ending the week down nearly 2%. Stock futures were in positive territory ahead of the opening bell Monday.
International market reaction to the fiscal cliff negotiations was muted. European markets were slightly weaker at the start of a shortened trading session, with several exchanges including Germany closed for the holiday.
Meanwhile, Asian markets ended mixed as strong manufacturing data boosted stocks in China.
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