Early strength gave way to more caution on Wall Street. That's amid signs things are not going so well in discussions aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
- House Speaker John Boehner says "substantive" progress has not been made in discussions with the White House. He met with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and accuses Democrats of failing to outline specific cuts to avert the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy into recession.
- Black Friday was no match for Sandy. Major retailers such as Kohl's, Target and Macy's have reported weak sales in November. A strong start to the holiday shopping season - including a good showing on the day after Thanksgiving - wasn't enough to fully offset the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy earlier in the month.
- A future for Twinkies seems virtually assured. Hostess Brands says it is in talks with 110 potential buyers for its iconic brands, which also include CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos.
- Online deals company LivingSocial is cutting 400 jobs worldwide. That's about 9 percent of its work force. The online deals market is going through a shake-out.
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