Increasingly good news about the U.S. economy is sending shivers down the spines of many Wall Street traders who believe the encouraging signs will push the Federal Reserve closer to pulling back on its stimulus. The S&P 500 index dropped for the fifth time in a row yesterday, losing eight points. The Dow fell 68 and the Nasdaq ended down five points. Futures point to some gains at this morning's opening.
- International stock markets advanced today but gains were held in check as investors awaited a U.S. jobs report that could solidify expectations about when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its expansive stimulus. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remained above $97 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
- Investors are anxiously awaiting the government's release of November's employment data today. It comes on the last day of trading and could move the markets. Also today, the Commerce Department releases October's personal income and spending numbers and the Federal Reserve will report consumer credit data for October.
- If the latest survey of economists is correct, the government employment data due out today may finally show the job market shifting gears. Economists surveyed by FactSet predict November was the fourth straight month of solid hiring, with 180,000 jobs added. The survey predicts unemployment was down to 7.2 percent from 7.3.
- Apple is ready to hold customers' hands when they visit the Apple store -- electronically of course. Apple Inc. will begin using the iBeacon technology today at its 254 U.S. stores to send messages about products, events and other information - tailored to where a person is inside. Users will have to download the app for that.