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Friday Morning Business Brief

December 14, 2012, 5:59 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Today's moves in stock market could dictate whether this is a winning, or losing week. In Thursday trading, the Dow fell 75 points to 13,171. The S&P was down 9 points, while the Nasdaq slipped 22. Futures trading suggests a higher opening.

  • International stocks mostly swung higher today after a survey showed China's manufacturing production rose to a 14-month high, offsetting gloom from a sharp drop in Japanese business confidence. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $87 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and rose against the yen.
  • The Labor Department this morning releases the November Consumer Price Index, expected to show no inflation at the retail level. Also due today, industrial production figures from the Federal Reserve.
  • A quarterly survey by Japan's central bank shows major Japanese manufacturers are increasingly gloomy, due largely to weakening exports that resulted from antagonisms with China over a territorial dispute. The Bank of Japan's "tankan" index for the three months that ends in December was minus 12, much worse than expected and a steep drop from the minus 3 reading in the previous quarter.
  • A mounting dispute between Washington and Beijing over access to records of Chinese companies with U.S.-traded shares might force major corporate names such as oil giant PetroChina and search engine Baidu to withdraw from American stock exchanges. The dispute highlights the clash between heightened U.S. anti-fraud efforts and official Chinese secrecy. This month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Chinese affiliates of five major accounting firms of impeding fraud investigations of nine companies by failing to hand over documents.

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