Wall Street took a breather on Friday and the stock market slipped during the holiday-shortened trading session but the bulls will be trying to run again today. The S&P 500 closed out its eighth straight week of gains on Friday even though it slipped one point to 1,805. The Dow dropped 10, closing at 16,086. But the Nasdaq rose 15 points to end at 4,059. Futures point to a lackluster opening this morning
- Muted Chinese manufacturing weighed on international stock markets today as investors awaited the release of U.S. data that might provide clearer signs about when the Federal Reserve will cut its monetary stimulus. Benchmark crude oil rose to near $93 a barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and the yen.
- Traders will be focusing on some important economic indicators today. The Institute for Supply Management will release its manufacturing index for November. And the Commerce Department reports construction spending for September and October. In Hong Kong, HSBC's Purchasing Managers Index slipped to 50.8 from 50.9. Any amount above 50 indicates expansion of manufacturing.
- Analysis of the latest holiday shopping tactics by retailers suggests that they still need to figure out how to get shoppers to actually buy things. The results of a survey of nearly 4,500 shoppers conducted for The National Retail Federation suggests that while retailers attracted more people with early discounts and Thanksgiving day openings, total spending is expected to be down.
- The anger in Ukraine continues over the decision by the country's president to scrap closer trade ties to the European Union after pressure from Russia. Thousands of protesters blocked entrances to the government building today and called for the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet. Hundreds of thousands protested yesterday.