Stocks Sag Into New Year As Fiscal Cliff Impasse Continues

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http://ymlp308.net/z14ITw ——————————————————————————– December 30, 2012 Week & Month In Review…

Week In Review For December 24 to December 28, 2012 Canadian Technical Penny Stocks To Watch This Week:

* St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. (TSX:SAS) U.S. Technical Penny Stocks To Watch This Week:

* FalconStor Software Inc. (NASDAQ:FALC) * Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) * EnergySolutions (NYSE:ES) Spotlight Companies Mentioned This Week:

* Sierra Iron Ore Corp. (TSX-Venture:NAA) This week on AllPennyStocks.com:

* Article Published, December 27, 2012: 2012 American Economic Year in Review (http://www.allpennystocks.com/aps_us/special-reports/321/2012-american-economic-year-in-review.htm) (U.S. Companies) * Article Published, November 29, 2012: 2012 Canadian Economic Year in Review (http://www.allpennystocks.com/aps_ca/special-reports/318/2012-canadian-economic-year-in-review.htm) (CDN Companies) Featured Link: BullishInvestor.com ( http://www.bullishinvestor.com) – Offering Free U.S. and Canadian technical analysis charts, buy/sell ratings and stock screening tools for over 15,000 stocks utilizing technical analysis techniques such as candlestick charting, technical analysis indicators as well as volume and trend analysis.

WEEKLY & MONTHLY UPDATE -STOCKS SLINK INTO NEW YEAR AS U.S. LAWMAKERS STILL ARGUE OVER BUDGET Stocks in North America limped through the holiday shortened week on very light trading volumes and only the fiscal cliff, a series of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to happen at the end of the year, was on investors minds. Trading was greatly shortened with the Canadian and US markets closing early on Monday and being closed Tuesday for Christmas. Canadian markets and some overseas exchanges were also closed on Wednesday in celebration of Boxing Day. The shuttering of doors may have been a blessing for bulls as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq skidded every trading day this week to stretch their string of days closing lower than the previous day to five. The TSX also lost ground closing lower two out of the three days it was open this past week. The smaller Venture exchange was the standout this past week, rising all three days. As we have been stating regularly, the Venture has taken a shelling all year, but is in a prime position to make a move off a solid support level. As long as support at 1,175 holds, the Venture is looking solid for an upward move, in our opinion.

Canada`s bean counters took the week off, but plenty of economic data came from the States that topped expectations. Several reports showed the continued strengthening of the US housing market, jobs data beat expert`s predictions and Chicago PMI, also called the “Business Barometer,” came in slightly higher than expected. On the downside, reports about the holiday shopping season showed that the season that began with a bang around Thanksgiving fizzled as the holiday approached. In what looked like was going to be a banner shopping season, SpendingPulse said that sales only increased 0.7 percent over 2011. Economists promulgated that consumer`s worries over the fiscal cliff caused a closing of pocket books as the deadline to extending tax cuts approached.

Overseas, Japan`s new government sent a clear message that it is going to do everything in its power to bolster its economy and weaken the yen. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he is keeping an inflation target at 2 percent and appointed a Bank of Japan Governor that shares his views. Further, Abe`s government plans to ignore a cap on bond issuing in decisions about a supplementary budget designed to spark its economy.

Overall, its was another week focused on lawmakers in Washington that continue to remain stubborn on making a decision on spending changes and what Bush-era tax cuts should be extended going forward.

President Obama said that he simply is not budging on higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. The President did call negotiations that resumed after the Christmas vacation “constructive” and said that he remains optimistic that a deal can still be done by the first of January. Senate leaders said they will meet through the weekend to try and establish a compromise to avert the cliff.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday stating that the government was going to hit the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling on Monday, December 31 because of the repercussions stemming from the fiscal cliff unless he authorizes actions to push the deadline into 2013. Geithner said that the United States will default on legal obligations if the debt limit is not raised by Congress, something the Republicans have been resistant to do unless they can get concessions from the White House on the budget.

Obama has said that he will not be strong-armed by Congress and their attempted leverage of the debt ceiling. American citizens are also looking at their own bank accounts because tax refunds may be delayed if the budget stalemate is not overcome. Moreover, if an agreement is not reached, millions of people collecting extended unemployment benefits will see their claims ended as part of the spending cuts that will go into effect.

At the time of this writing, no budget deals have been announced. The markets will be closed again on Tuesday in observance of the New Year and volumes will likely be light on Monday as many senior traders enjoy an extended break. There will be an influx of economic data throughout the week, but obviously the major market mover is going to be news about the fiscal cliff with a particular emphasis on Monday`s trading as “D-Day” for a new budget to be announced…or not.

The US dollar gained ground again its Canadian counterpart for the second straight week, albeit a relatively flat week of trading.

Interestingly, across 2012, the loonie, ended the year ahead of the greenback by about 2.4 percent. This makes up the 2.3 percent (and then some) that the Canadian dollar lost against the US Dollar in 2011. The USD modestly strengthened globally last week. The ICE dollar index, which measures the USD against a basket of world counterparts, edged ahead by 0.08% for the week, its second weekly gain, although it still sits near 2012 lows. Head-to-head, Canada`s dollar shed 0.34%, or $0.00345, against the greenback, meaning next week will begin with one Canadian dollar buying US$1.00325. On the month, the two currencies traded even until last week. All tallied, the loonie lost 0.34% against the USD in December.

Commodity Snapshot:

* Gold futures stagnated all week and lost value on Friday to eliminate what could have been the first weekly advance for the month.

In a week of light volume, traders moved cautiously around bullion and other metals with sparse economic data from overseas and no new developments regarding the fiscal cliff to serve as a catalyst.

Historically a safe haven play and hedge against inflation, gold has been trending with the broad markets and acting more like a risky asset lately that hasn`t even always traded inversely to the dollar, a long-time characteristic of gold. Most analysts are expecting gold to continue to rise in 2013 to follow the nearly 6 percent climb in 2012, despite a sharp decline in the fourth quarter. Gold has now risen in 12 straight years. February contracts, the most actively traded this past week, faded by 0.25%, or $4.20 per ounce, to close the week at $1,655.90 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

For the month, February contracts for gold were lower by $56.80 or 3.32 percent.

* Silver futures traded alongside gold with mild gains early in the week stripped away with a small fall on Friday. Much like the markets in general, silver traders ignored optimistic economic data from the States, including an upward revision in GDP from the week prior and better-than-expected initial jobless claims, to stay focused on the fiscal cliff. In a week of small volumes, silver for March delivery was the most actively traded; declining 0.75%, or $0.228, to $29.975 per ounce. For November, silver produced similar returns to its higher priced cousin, with an depreciation of $0.954 per ounce, or 3.08 percent.

* Copper prices made their biggest one-day climb since November 29 on Wednesday on news that union workers at BHP Billiton`s Escondida mine in Chile unanimously rejected the company`s contract offer. The mine accounts for 6 percent of the world`s copper production, so a strike by the workers could have a direct impact on supply. With the possibility looming of a walk-out next year, copper prices felt some upward pressure. March contracts were the most actively traded on New York`s COMEX exchange during the week; advancing $0.0225 cents, or 0.63%, to $3.5895 per pound. The movement helped to pare losses from earlier in the month to have copper futures lose 6 cents, or 1.66% during December.

* Oil prices hit two-month highs as tensions in Iran once again stoked fears of a supply disruption while economic data showing progress in the US economy raised hopes for greater demand. The latest EIA oil inventory stats showed that commercial crude inventories decreased by 600,000 in the week ended Dec. 21 to 371.1 million barrels, still well above 5-year averages for December. In the Middle East, pay disputes in the Kurdish areas of Iraq into Turkey are raising concerns about supply channels being choked, adding some risk appetite for crude. February 2013 contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were the most actively traded; rising $2.14, or 2.41%, to $90.80 per barrel. The late-month pop made crude a rare riser amongst major commodities in December; climbing 1.46 percent, or $1.31 per barrel.

Equity Market Snapshot:

(All percentages on a weekly basis unless otherwise noted) * Major gold miners performed pretty well with bullion prices slipping lower again. Kinross Gold (TSX:K, +0.32%), Goldcorp (TSX:G, +0.85%), Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX, +1.77%) and Newmont Mining (TSX:NMC, +1.92%) advanced, but Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI, -1.30%), Agnico-Eagle Mines (TSX:AEM, -1.02%) slipped lower. Shares of Yamana have fallen in five consecutive weeks.

* Energy plays traded with the broad markets, not rising crude prices. Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ, -2.43%), Talisman Energy (NYSE:TLM, -1.52%), Imperial Oil Ltd. (NYSE:IMO, -1.80%), Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU, -1.86%), Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE, -1.46%) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM, -2.44%) faded back.

* Chevron Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX, -2.97%), said that they are trying to acquire a 50% stake in a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal near Kitimat, B.C. In the deal, Chevron has agreed to buy the 30% positions in the terminal held by Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA, -2.88%) and a subsidiary of EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG, -4.01%). The remaining company with holdings in the terminal, Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA, -3.69%) will raise its holdings from 40% to 50%.

* Cnooc Ltd., China`s largest offshore oil-and-gas producer by capacity, said the completion of its $15.1 billion deal for Canada`s Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY, +0.79%) will not happen until the coming quarter as the proposed acquisition is still awaiting government approval outside of the recent approval from Canadian regulators.

* The biggest of banks in the US were market laggards. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC, +0.62%) edged ahead, but UBS AG (NYSE:UBS, -2.19%), Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:S, -2.27%“>GS, -2.27%), , Citigroup (NYSE:C, -1.22%), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM, -1.73%) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC, -1.65%) all lost points. XLF (NYSE:XLF, -1.34%), the financials select sector SPDR that tracks the financial stocks in the S&P 500, gave back a portion of the gains from previous weeks.

* The biggest banks in Canada didn`t fare any better. National Bank of Canada (TSX:NA, -0.45%), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (TSX:CM, -2.35%), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD, -0.56%), The Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS, -1.44%), Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY, -1.14%) and Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO, -0.38%) all moved lower.

* Research in Motion (TSX:RIM, +8.20%) recovered from the prior week`s sell-off. Helping was news that Synchronoss Technologies Inc.

(NASDAQ:SNCR, +2.72%) paid $55 million to buy NewBay, a cloud computing unit of RIM.

* Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL, -1.88%) was in the news after a Chinese court fined the tech giant $160,400 US for hosting third-party applications on its App Store that were selling pirated electronic books. The company also said that it is giving CEO Tim Cook a 50 percent raise in cash salary, although the value of his total pay package actually was dropping substantially because of a lucrative amount of stock that was granted to him in his first full year as Apple chief executive after the death of iconic founder Steve Jobs.

* Shares of Marvell Technology Group (NASDAQ:MRVL, -14.03%) cruised to multi-year lows following news of a loss in a patent infringement case with Carnegie Mellon University. A jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday unanimously found that the Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker infringed on patents owned by Carnegie Mellon and awarded damages of $1.17 billion to Carnegie Mellon.

Marvell has already filed motions appealing the decision.

* Shares of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) tumbled after the company was blamed for a one-day service interruption at Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX, -2.20%). Amazon also reported that tech entrepreneur Blake Krikorian resigned immediately from its board of directors. No further reason for the move was given.

* After Friday`s closing bell, the FDA approved a new anti-clotting drug called Eliquis made by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE, -0.76%) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY, -2.30%). Eliquis is an oral tablet used to lower the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots in patients with abnormal heart rhythm that`s not caused by a heart-valve problem.

* Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM, +1.43%) agreed to pay approximately $1.1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit relating to unintended acceleration in several of its vehicles. Owners of more than 16 million Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles would be eligible for payments and safety updates.

* Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS, -0.99$) reported that British publisher Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO, -0.67%) is investing $90 million for a 5 percent position in the retailer`s Nook unit.

* J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP, -3.16%) initially got a lift early in the week as Oppenheimer analysts Brian Nagel and Rupesh Parikh reiterated a “buy” rating on the retailer. The company also received positive attention as traffic increased in stores helping clear inventory and boost sales amongst other retailers posting weak sales as the holiday season wound-down.

* Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD, -11.97%) stopped its five week advance dead in its tracks this past week as 25-year veteran Michael Goddard left to go to work for Samsung.

* Shares of Shanghai-based BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd.

(NASDAQ:BCDS, +97.40%) screamed higher after electronic components maker Diodes Inc. (NASDAQ:DIOD, +1.01%) agreed to buy the firm for $8 a share, or $151 million, to expand its analog product portfolio and efforts in China.

Weekly Indices Results:

The S&P TSX Composite Index snapped its two-week winning streak; dropping 69.58 points, or 0.56%, to 12,216.12. The TSX Venture Exchange moved the other direction; gaining 24.13 points, or 2.05%, to 1,201.84 on the week.

In the States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost points every day to total losses of 252.73 points, or 1.92%, to 12,938.11 this past week. The much-broader S&P 500 tanked as well; losing 27.72 points, or 1.94%, to close at 1,402.43. The tech-rich NASDAQ Composite completed the red sweep; giving back 60.70 points, or 2.01%, to 2,960.31.

Canadian Economic Data:

* No major economic data was released during the holiday week.

This week, economic data will be very thin with only the Industrial Product Price Index and the Raw Materials Price Index being released on Friday.

U.S. Economic Data:

* Pending home sales, contracts to buy that have not yet been closed, increased for the third straight month in November, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. NAR`s Pending Home Sale Index rose to 106.4 from a downwardly revised 104.6 October reading, marking the highest level since April 2010, a time when consumers were buying homes before a tax credit expired at the end of the month. The 1.7 percent climb in November topped economists` expectations of a 1.0 percent rise. On a yearly basis, pending home sales were up almost 10 percent compared to last November, representing the 19th straight month of year-over-year increases.

* The Labor Department reported that applications for initial jobless benefits dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 for the week ended December 22, although the agency warned that the data may be skewed because estimates were used from 19 states because of the Christmas holiday not allowing for a complete compilation of data.

Economists were calling-for a decline to 360,000. Meanwhile, the figures for the week ended December 15 were upwardly revised from 361,000 to 362,000. The four week moving average, a less-volatile measure of labor trends, decreased by 11,250 to 356,750 from the prior week’s revised average of 368,000.

* The Commerce Department said that new home sales rose 4.4 percent to an annual rate of 377,000 in November, representing the highest levels since April 2010. On a yearly basis, sales were 15.3 percent higher than in November 2011. The average price of a home rose 3.7 percent to $246,200 in November from $237,500 in October to cap a 14.9 percent increase in the last year.

* The latest reading of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed that home prices slipped by 0.1% in October, following a 0.2 percent increase in September. Home prices in 12 of the 20 cities tracked by the index contracted in October, but are still up 4.3 percent over the last 12 months cumulatively, representing the largest one-year increase since May 2010. The annual increase outpaced economist predictions of a 4.0 percent rise. Las Vegas paced the gainers with a 2.8 percent climb in October, while Phoenix posted the greatest increase in values in the last year with a 21.7 percent climb. New York City and Chicago were the only two cities to record 12-month declines in home values.

* The Institute for Supply Management said that its Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose from 50.4 in November to 51.6 in December, its third consecutive month of rising since hitting a three-year low in September. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in business activity in the region. Economists were expecting the Chicago PMI to nose upward to 51.0 for December. The increase was led by a jump in new orders from 45.3 in November to 53.8 in December. On the down side, the employment subindex dove from a November reading of 55.2 to a December reading of 45.9, the lowest level in three years, signaling that employers are worried about increasing workforces with the fiscal cliff rapidly approaching.

This week, data in the States will include the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey on Monday; ISM Manufacturing Index and FOMC Minutes on Wednesday; Initial Jobless Claims and the ADP Employment Report on Thursday; and Factory Orders, ISM Non-Manufacturing Index and the latest Employment Situation Report on Friday.

Technical Penny Stocks to Watch & Company Spotlight Results:

Amongst our “Daily Technical Penny Stocks to Watch,” the largest gain this week was posted by St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. (TSX:SAS) which was picked as it was looking to move off a support level on Monday at 42.8 cents. Shares jumped right away to highs of 46.23 cents for a quick return of 8.01% and are looking strong to possibly continue climbing next week. Congratulations to all the technical traders that flagged SAS as a penny stock to watch this week.

The Month at a Glance – December This holiday season was the tale of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, starring Washington legislators as the Grinch. The political wrangling over the fiscal cliff dominated market sentiment with Republicans and Democrats pointing fingers at each other all month as to who is to blame for the US economy slowly walking up to and now hanging their toes over the cliff, setting the stage for about $600 billion to be stripped from the economy through a recipe of spending cuts and tax increases set to go off January 1. Economists and the Federal Reserve Bank have warned that there are not enough utilities in the Fed`s tool box to avoid the economy grinding to a halt and unemployment possibly surging if a new budget is not reached.

Unemployment reports from November beat expectations in both Canada and the United States as reported early in the month. Canada`s unemployment rate dropped 0.2% to 7.2% in November while the U.S.`s dropped from 7.9% to 7.7%. Other upbeat economic data coupled with optimism that lawmakers would come together to form a new bipartisan budget buoyed equities early in the month, but negativity and concerns that a deal would not be struck still underpinned market sentiment.

As the end of the month neared, the bears took control as risk aversive strategies become more prevalent, anchoring commodities and equities alike.

The Toronto Stock Exchange was the only major that was able to hang onto gains for the month.

Following its final policy meeting of the year, the Federal Reserve advised that it is entering 2013 with a new, open-ended $45 billion per month bond-buying plan to continue to combat slowing economic growth and high unemployment. The Fed has been buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month as well as running “Operation Twist,” a debt-swap program that converts short-term debt into long-term, but the new plans are a bit different. Operation Twist, which was already supposed to have ended, but got an extension in September, involves the Fed selling $45 billion per month in short-term treasuries to fund long-term purchases. This will come to an end as the stockpile of short-term treasuries is dwindling.

Instead, the Fed will fund the purchases of long-term purchases by adding reserves to its own banking system. Effectively, what the central bank is doing is printing more money so it can buy more bonds.

The Fed also, for the first time ever, tied its interest rates directly to a target for the unemployment rate. Fed Chief Ben Bernanke said that the Fed will keep its interest rates extremely low until the unemployment rate, which stood at 7.7 percent in November, drops to at least 6.5 percent, something that the bank doesn`t believe will happen until into 2015.

The Bank of Canada also kept its trendsetting interest rate anchored at one percent for the rest of 2012, citing weakening economic conditions as the reason.

Outside influences were weak compared to other months this year.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that lawmakers slashed growth forecasts for the EU with “downside risks” still being evident. The ECB now forecasts the euro zone GDP to contract by 0.3 percent in 2013, after originally predicting growth of 0.5 percent.

Commentary from China included Communist Party chief Xi Jinping saying that the country will be tweaking its economic policies in 2013 to ensure stable growth. China`s economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter, its slowest pace in more than three years, but a wide array of data was delivered in December providing evidence that the economy is ready to start growing faster again.

Greece chiseled away at its debt mountain by offering to buy back up to 10 billion euros of its debt through a Dutch auction, a process where prices start higher and then move downward. Through the auction Greece will spend up to 10 billion euros of borrowed money to buy back bonds with a nominal value of about 30 billion euros, about half of the 63 billion euros-worth of Greek debt held by private investors.

Italy`s Prime Minister Mario Monti, whom many credit for rebuilding confidence in the debt-riddled country, surprised the world when he announced that he was retiring from his position after the 2013 Italian budget gets approved because ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi no longer gives his support to Monti`s policies.

In short, the global financial situation is by no means perfect, but it appears to be stabilizing. Closer to home, data from the States and Canada has been basically in line or slightly better than economists expect. The fiscal cliff is the bane in the side of the US and – regardless of commentary from President Obama – the likelihood of a deal being done on Sunday or Monday is not good. If it happens, the markets should respond with a roar. If not, it`s going to take some strong and extremely encouraging dialogue from Washington to convince the markets not to sell-off this coming week. Analysts and economists seem to be bracing for a deal to not get done, saying that it will probably happen in the first couple weeks of January, but given the urgency of the situation, it`s hard to tell what lawmakers may have up their sleeves.

Monthly Indices Results:

* S&P TSX Composite: up 0.63% (+76.76 pts.) * TSX-Venture: down 1.56% (-19.06 pts.) * Dow Jones Industrial Average: down 0.67% (-87.47 pts.) * S&P 500: down 0.97% (-13.75 pts.) * NASDAQ: down 1.66% (-49.93 pts.) Monthly Equity Market Snapshot:

(All percentages on a monthly basis unless otherwise noted) December featured plenty of noteworthy news, but probably none bigger than merger news involving parties from all over the world.

* Canada`s lawmakers approved the acquisitions of China`s CNOOC Ltd.

to buy Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY, +9.68%) for $15.1 billion and Malaysia`s Petronas to buy Progress Energy Resources Corp. (TSX:PRQ, +8.97%) for $5.2 billion. The deals were steeped in controversy about foreign state-owned companies buying Canadian companies with the Progress Energy deal already getting shot-down once. The approvals come as a bit of a surprise, but at the same time Prime Minister Stephen Harper essentially slammed the door on more deals of this nature happening in the future with new takeover guidelines for foreigners looking to take control of large Canadian firms.

* Mining company Freeport-McMoRan Corp. (NYSE:FCX, -15.05) said that it plans to acquire Plains Exploration & Production Company (NYSE:PXP, +29.05%) and McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE:MMR, +84.64%) in transactions totaling $20 billion in a move to create a huge player in the natural gas market.

* In a deal that will end the age of independence for the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX, +37.22%) agreed to sell itself to fellow exchange operator IntercontinentalExchange Inc.

(NYSE:ICE, -6.42%) in a deal worth about $8.2 billion, payable in cash and stock. The oldest exchange in the United States, the NYSE has been in business for about 200 years. Federal regulators have failed to approve other deals involving mergers with NYSE Euronext because of antitrust laws, but it is believed that because of dissimilar operations, the deal between ICE and NYX may go through.

* Dean Foods (NYSE:DF, -5.95%) announced plans to sell its Morningstar division to Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP, +9.10%) for $1.45 billion. Saputo, who has been the topic of rumors that it will buy bankrupt Twinkie maker Hostess, has said it plans to expand in the United States.

* HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE:HBC, +2.76%) said that it reached a $1.9 billion settlement with U.S. state and federal authorities related to a money laundering investigation of the British bank. The U.S.

penalties are broken down into approximately $1.25 billion in forfeiture of ill-gotten gains and about $655 million in civil penalties. The surrendering of the $1.25 billion is the largest penalty in history in a bank case.

* Research in Motion (TSX:RIM, +1.38%) rose for the fourth straight month despite news of litigation being initiated against them by patent-licensing firm Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN, -9.15%) crying patent infringement related to Bluetooth technologies. In a separate manner, RIM and Nokia (NYSE:NOK, +16.87%) reached terms on a patent licensing agreement to end any legal action between the two phone makers in which RIM will be making payments to Nokia, but exact terms weren`t disclosed.

* A filing with the SEC showed that Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX, +9.33%) received a Wells notice from the SEC related to Facebook posts earlier this year by CEO Reed Hastings that could be in violation of disclosure regulations. Netflix and Hastings are facing civil penalties for the alleged violation in which the Netflix chief boasted about more than one billion hours of monthly viewing in June for the first time in the company’s history. Also in December, Netflix announced a deal with Walt Disney Studios (NYSE:DIS, +0.49%). Starting with Disney`s 2016 feature films, Netflix customers will be able to stream a catalog of titles from Disney and four of its subsidiaries:

Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature.

* Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S, -2.27%) said, through SEC filings, that it has offered to buy the 49 percent of wireless broadband provider Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR, +24.14%) it doesn`t already own for $2.1 billion. All told, the new offer puts a value of Clearwire around $4 billion.

* Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP, +8.41%) said that it will be cutting 4,500 jobs by 2016 as part of a plan to reduce costs. The second largest railroad company in Canada also shelved plans to build a 420-kilometre extension to serve coal mines in the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming.

* Also cutting jobs, as part of “repositioning efforts” under new chief executive Michael Corbat, Citigroup (NYSE:C, +12.84%) announced plans to cut 11,000 jobs and take a $1-billion charge in the fourth quarter.

* Only weeks after receiving a $1.4 billion bid from rival Getco, trading firm Knight Capital Group (NYSE:KCG, +3.56%) agreed to merge with Getco, who already owned a portion of Knight.

* Pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB, +5.77%) proposed a $6.2 billion expansion of its oil pipeline system. The goal of the expansion is to move rising volumes of light crude from Western Canada and the North Dakota Bakken to refineries in the eastern part of the continent and midwest United States.

* Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ, +3.29%) said that it will pay $390 million to buy Thomson Reuter`s (NYSE:TRI, +3.92%) investor relations, public relations and multimedia operations as it looks to expand its revenue streams further aside from trade-related income.

Monthly Penny Stocks To Watch Leaders & Company Spotlight Results:

Among the stocks that we watched as we introduced our latest feature on AllPennyStocks.com that features daily technical charts poised to make a move, the biggest play for the month was Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (NYSE:TC). The chart made a stellar move from the day that we posted it to start the month at only $2.88 with a run to as high as $4.285, representing gains of 48.78% across the month, outpacing most plays listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The chart can stay on radar as it closed Friday at $4.22 on strong volume for the shortened week.

In December we introduced Sierra Iron Ore Corp. (TSX-Venture:NAA) as our latest Canadian spotlight. During the month, this up-and-coming miner announced that it is has successfully staked additional mineral claims adjacent to the Tom Cat property in British Columbia, Canada.

With the addition of the newly staked claims, the Tom Cat property is now comprised of ten contiguous mineral claims covering an area of 4013 hectares.

The Tom Cat property is located 200 kilometers east-northeast of Vancouver within the historic Aspen Grove copper camp and shares a property boundary with the Big Kidd property that was recently optioned by Extrata and currently under exploration. The region is well known to host some of the world`s largest copper resources including those at Copper Mountain and at the Highland Valley. Garrow (2010) reports that the only significant results reported prior to 2006 was a drill intersection of 45.7 meters of 0.32% copper in a 1965 Pyramid Mining drill hole on the Tom Cat showing. Included in the historic drill hole was an intersection of 4.4 meters of 0.54% copper.

Shares of NAA had a relatively flat month on the whole after dipping to 50 cents. In the past week, shares rose about 15 percent to close the week at 57 cents each. As we mentioned earlier, the Venture exchange looks well positioned to make a nice climb. Sierra Nevada is in the same position from a technical perspective and its prolific profile gives the company strong upside potential heading into 2013.

We encourage our members to perform their due diligence and keep a close watch on Sierra Nevada for further developments.

————————- Forward Looking Statements This report includes forward-looking statements that reflect the mentioned companies current expectations about its future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. the mentioned companies has tried to identify these forward-looking statements by using words and phrases such as “may,” “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “plan,” “should,” “typical,” “preliminary,” “we are confident” or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the mentioned companies actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, the Company`s growth expectations and ongoing funding requirements, and specifically, the Company`s growth prospects with scalable customers, and those outlined above. Other risks include the Company`s limited operating history, the Company`s history of operating losses, consumers` acceptance, the Company`s use of licensed technologies, risk of increased competition, the potential need for additional financing, the terms and conditions of any financing that is consummated, the limited trading market for the Company`s securities, the possible volatility of the Company`s stock price, the concentration of ownership, and the potential fluctuation in the Company`s operating results.

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