President Obama's comments did nothing to increase optimism about the likelihood of a fast and easy deal to solve the fiscal cliff dilemma.
Given the way in which politics works, the great likelihood is that nothing will done until the last minute and then the deal that is made will simply delay making the hard decisions. There is little political advantage for either side to compromise until the bitter end.
President Obama is hoping that the argument that he has a mandate now due to the election will have some influence. With a close popular vote and the Republicans holding 30 governorships and the House it looks more like a very divided nation rather than one with a clear objective. The election changed nothing and there is no reason to believe that bipartisanship is suddenly going to be embraced. It will be a long and ugly battle.
Unsurprisingly the market is rolling over and we have given back a good slug of early gains. I wouldn't be surprised to see another little bump up on some short covering, but the overall attitude of this market is to escape positions into strength. There is no pressing reason to load up positions right now in hopes that a major turn is occurring.