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Monday Morning Business Brief

December 26, 2011, 11:26 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief
Stock markets in the U.S. and Europe are closed today, but Asian markets were open. Trading was light, and the major indexes turned in mixed performances. Japan's Nikkei finished up 1 percent, but South Korea's Kospi fell 0.6 percent and China's Shanghai Composite was down 0.7 percent.
  • Shoppers are hitting stores in London for traditional Boxing Day sales today, despite a one-day walkout by subway drivers in London. Selfridges, one of Britain's most popular department stores, reports its biggest-ever first hour of sales today. The union is staging the strike to demand extra pay and a day off for members working on the public holiday.
  • Spain's economics minister says the country will slide back into recession early next year. He says the Spanish economy looks like it will contract between 0.2 and 0.3 percent in the final three months of 2011 and again in the first quarter of 2012. Spain's economy has withered this year after showing signs of recovery. Two successive quarters of growth were followed by a flat third quarter.
  • The hacker movement "Anonymous" is claiming to have swiped more than 4,000 credit card numbers, passwords and home addresses belonging to clients of the U.S.-based security think
    tank Stratfor. One hacker says the goal is to take funds from individuals' accounts to give away as Christmas donations. Stratfor's client list includes Apple, the U.S. Air Force and the Miami Police Department.
  • Christmas hasn't brightened the box office much. Tom Cruise's latest "Mission Impossible" film "Ghost Protocol" is the top attraction, earning an estimated $26.5 million in its first full weekend. Other new releases, including "The Adventures of Tintin", "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "We Bought a Zoo" opened with modest to weak results.

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