Stocks dropped in unison in late morning trading today as Senate Majority Leader Reid told the press that Congress had run out of time to avert the fiscal cliff, with the House not in session. The Dow dropped below the psychologically significant 13,000 mark in early afternoon trading.
As stocks tumbled, the dollar advanced and precious metals rose sharply. Silver took a hit at the COMEX close, but recovered some of the loss to remain solidly above the open. Gold moved mostly sideways after its surge, and resumed climbing in late afternoon action.
At 3pm Eastern time, a surprise announcement by Speaker of the House Boehner that the House would be returning to Washington for a 6:30pm Sunday meeting rescued stocks, which closed just short of positive territory. This stopped the dollar rally as money started moving back into stocks, but gold and silver held onto their gains as traders looked for a safe haven.
Volume was once again reported as very thin, since most traders are sitting out until after New Years.