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News Summary: Confidence sputters, cliff nears

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The Associated Press | December 27, 2012 04:54 PM EST | AP


CONCERN OVER CONFIDENCE: Consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since August, according to a report from the Conference Board. Consumers' outlook for the next six months deteriorated to its lowest level since 2011.

NO FREEDOM FROM THE FISCAL CLIFF: In Washington, both Republicans and Democrats demanded that the other party take the lead on compromising on budget negotiations. Lawmakers have until Monday night to hammer out a budget agreement before automatic tax increases and cuts to government spending kick in.

PLAY ON: Steinway Musical Instruments lost more than 5 percent of its value after the company, the maker of eponymous pianos and other instruments, decided against trying to sell itself.