Investors are hoping the stock market continues to rally today. Stock indexes have been up for the last two weeks. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 53 points last week, the S&P 500 gained 5 points and the Nasdaq composite was up 24 for the week. As for the S&P, the index reached its highest level since December 2007 on Thursday. Futures trading suggests slight gains at this morning's opening.
- International stock markets rose today on optimism that China's economic recovery is firmly taking root. Many analysts expect China's fourth quarter and 2012 growth figures due Friday to show the world's No. 2 economy continuing to bounce back. Benchmark crude oil rose above $94 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro but rose against the yen.
- The agency's head says China's securities watchdog is considering substantially raising the quota that foreign institutions are allowed to invest in the country's stock markets. It's the latest signal from Beijing of plans to open the Chinese capital markets.
- United Parcel Service Inc. has ditched its $6.9 billion takeover of TNT Express NV after learning that European regulators would reject the deal in its current form. Though TNT will receive a $265.5 million break fee, it faces an uncertain future on its own.
- Official figures show that industrial output across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro fell in November for the third straight month. The 0.3 percent monthly decline reported by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, was worse than expected. Markets had forecast output would increase a modest 0.1 percent during the month.
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