17 Jul '11, 1am

US stocks hard pressed to reverse recent selling next week as political jousting over US debt ceiling intensifies.

NEW YORK - US STOCKS will be hard pressed to turn the tide of recent selling next week as political jousting over raising the United States' debt ceiling intensifies. The benchmark S&P 500 index this week recorded its worst weekly loss in five weeks. Investors, frustrated by the lack of progress in the debate between the Democrat-controlled White House and Senate and the Republican-majority House, could move into what are perceived as safer assets, such as cash. While the wrangling over the debt ceiling takes center stage, earnings season will continue to heat up after a solid first week. According to Thomson Reuters data, 39 companies in the benchmark S&P 500 index have posted results, with 74 percent reporting earnings that topped Wall Street estimates. Companies in the index are forecast to show a 6.5 per cent rise in profits over the second quarter of 2010 when all the...

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