News Summary: Confidence sputters, cliff nears
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.