Markets slide to early close
NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets leaned lower Monday following mixed results in Asia and a largely flat performance in European markets.
Just before the Christmas break, investors are still faced with the prospect of a federal budget for 2013 with a net negative $500 billion adjustment that kicks in Jan. 1, if lawmakers in Washington do not reach a compromise agreement before then.
House members went home Thursday after a plan proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, did not garner enough support for a vote.
By close of trading in a holiday-shortened trading session, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 51.76 points or 0.39 percent to 13,139.08. The Nasdaq lost 8.41 points or 0.28 percent to 3,012.60.
The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 3.49 points or 0.24 percent to 1,426.66.
In the shortened session, 1,195 shares advanced and 1,786 declined on a volume of 1.2 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note was off 2/32 to yield 1.777 percent.
Against the yen, the dollar was higher at 84.84 from Friday's 84.24. The euro fell to $1.3187 from $1.3189.
In London, the FTSE 100 index added 0.24 percent, 14.19 points, to 5,954.18.
Petition challenges FAA on gadgets
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Ex-Star Trek actor George Takei said he is "put off" by U.S. regulations forbidding air travelers from keeping gadgets turned on during liftoffs and landings.
Takei, who played Sulu in the original cast of "Star Trek," has collected 17,000 signatures on a petition he plans to submit to the Federal Aviation Administration on behalf of people fed up with having to turn off electronic devices during those anxiety-provoking takeoff and landing maneuvers.
"I suspect I'm not alone in feeling put off," Takei''s petition says.
The petition was posted in early December on Change.org, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
In August, the FAA said it would study the use of electronic devices during flights.
GM to recall 118,800 vehicles
WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- General Motors is poised to recall 118,800 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado vehicles due to hoods that could spring open unexpectedly, U.S. regulators said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the automaker would initiate a recall Jan. 17 to fix hood latch systems on 2010-12 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyons made between Nov. 9, 2009, and Aug. 28, 2012.
The hoods on the vehicles may be missing the secondary hood latch, the U.S. regulator said.
Vehicles without the secondary hood latch are at risk of having the hood fly open and block the driver's view of the road, precipitating an accident.
GM dealers will replace the hood on any affected vehicles free of charge.
Chevrolet Colorado owners can call 800-630-2438 for more information. GMC Canyon owners were instructed to call 866-996-9463 for information.
Gold and silver slip
NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Gold and silver shifted slightly lower in New York Monday in a market focused on the budget impasse in Washington.
The weaker dollar provided some pressure with the dollar index up 0.15 percent to 79.65 on the International Exchange.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for February delivery shed 60 cents or 0.04 percent to $1,659.50 per troy ounce.
Silver for March delivery dropped 31 cents or 1.01 percent to $29.90 an ounce.
The euro was trading at $1.3186 from Friday's 1.3189. The dollar rose to 84.82 against the Japanese yen from Friday's 84.24 yen.
The Australian dollar was trading at $1.0366 from Friday's $1.0402. The British pound fell to $1.6124 from Friday's $1.6172.