- The blue chip averages have edged lower today, as the Nasdaq has pressed into positive territory. Investors are still trying to gauge how, or whether the "fiscal cliff" will be resolved. And Europe's debt crisis continues to create new challenges.
- President Barack Obama has chosen Elisse Walter, one of five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to become chairman of the agency. Chairman Mary Schapiro will leave next month after a tumultuous tenure in which she helped lead the government's regulatory response to the 2008 financial crisis.
- Billionaire Warren Buffett is again calling for higher taxes on the "ultrarich" and he's urging Congress to compromise on spending cuts and tax increases. Buffett expressed his views on fiscal policy in an opinion article in The New York Times on the same day Congress returned from the Thanksgiving holiday.
- U.S. regulators have sued online prediction market Intrade, saying it illegally let customers bet on future economic data, the price of gold and even possible acts of war. Intrade is known for allowing bets on presidential elections, sports and other high-profile events. The prices at which customers are willing to make those bets are cited as informal odds.
- A former hedge fund portfolio manager accused of enabling a quarter of a billion dollars in profits by passing along inside information in one of the largest insider trading fraud cases in history appeared in a Manhattan court for the first time today. Mathew Martoma was released on $5 million bail, though his movements were restricted.
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