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Monday Morning Business Brief

December 23, 2013, 8:55 AM

Monday Morning Business Brief

It's hard to predict how the stock market will perform today with a shortened trading day tomorrow and the Christmas holiday on Wednesday. But investors are hoping for a continuation of the rally that lifted the market to its best week in three months. A strong report on U.S. economic growth pushed stocks higher Friday. The Dow climbed 42 points, the S&P 500 rose nearly nine and the Nasdaq added 46 ½ points. Futures point to gains at this morning's opening.

  • International stocks markets traded higher today as a report that the U.S. economy expanded more than expected in the third quarter outweighed concerns about a credit crunch in China. Benchmark crude oil fell below $99 a barrel The dollar fell against the euro and gained against the yen.
  • There are only four government economic reports slated for release this week. Today, it's November's personal income and spending numbers. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department will report on durable goods and new home sales for November. When the markets reopen Thursday, The government releases the weekly jobless claims number. Also, Freddie Mac reports weekly mortgage rates.
  • Apple and China Mobile are announcing a long-anticipated major deal. The deal might help to boost iPhone sales in a market where Apple Inc. faces intense competition. The iPhone already is available in China through two smaller carriers but the latest deal links it with a bigger network and state-owned China Mobile Ltd.'s marketing power. Forecasts of possible increased iPhone sales vary widely, from 10 million to 40 million.
  • Experts say incidents like the recent data theft at Target's stores will get worse before they get better because the U.S. is the juiciest target for hackers hunting credit card information. That's in part because U.S. credit and debit cards rely on an old, easy-to-copy magnetic strip on the back of the card, which stores account information using the same technology as cassette tapes. In most countries outside the U.S. cards use digital chips to hold account information.

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