Black Friday enthusiasm produced a 173-point rally to end a short holiday trading week. The bluechip index starts this week above 13,000 for the first time since Election Day. The S&P starts at 1,409, while the Nasdaq finished last week at 2,967. Futures trading suggests a lower opening today.
- Asian stock markets rose modestly today after the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. topped expectations. But trading in Europe was subdued hours before finance ministers gathered yet again to discuss what to do about Greece. Benchmark crude oil fell but remained above $88 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro but fell against the yen.
- There's plenty of fresh economic data on the schedule this week, including a new estimate of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter. That comes Thursday. Numbers on the manufacturing sector, a trio of reports on housing and a measure of consumer confidence are also expected.
- Shoppers are expected to pound the keyboards and not the pavement looking for big bargains today -- Cyber Monday. Research firm comScore suggests it will be a big online success, with Americans expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20 percent from last year. Retailers have ramped up their deals to get shoppers to click on their websites.
- Swiss bank UBS is facing a big fine by Britain's financial regulator for failings which allowed a rogue trader to lose $2.3 billion. The Financial Services Authority levied a fine of $47.6 million. The trader was sentenced to seven years in prison last week. The regulator says the case revealed serious weaknesses in UBS procedures, management systems and internal controls.
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