Despite a slow start for stocks in the new year, many analysts say it's too early to declare in the market's mostly upward trend. The Standard & Poor's 500 index yesterday had its worst start to a year in almost a decade, closing lower for the third straight trading day. Futures point to a higher opening today.
- Caution about China's economic prospects and upcoming U.S. economic data kept Asian stock markets subdued today. European markets were also lackluster in early trading. Investors are awaiting economic events in the U.S. with Federal Reserve minutes due tomorrow and a monthly jobs report on Friday. The dollar rose against the euro and the yen. Benchmark crude oil rose nearer to $94 a barrel.
- Returning for a new session, the Senate made history on its first day, confirming a woman to head the Federal Reserve for the first time in the institution's 100-year history. The vote for Janet Yellen was 56-26, although several lawmakers missed the vote because of delayed flights to the nation's capital.
- Democratic supporters of a three-month extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless say they're confident they have enough votes to survive a procedural vote on the Senate floor. That vote is likely later today. It was postponed yesterday because minority Republicans complained that too many lawmakers would miss the vote because of flight delays.
- Toyota has announced that a hydrogen-powered vehicle which emits only water vapor as exhaust will go on sale in the U.S. in 2015, a year earlier than it promised just two months ago. The Japanese automaker made the disclosure at the International CES, the technology industry's annual gadget show. The shift came months after rival automakers Hyundai and Honda both said they'd start selling cars with that technology in the U.S. in 2015.