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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading, but the Nikkei was down 1.12%. European indices are all lower this morning, and U.S. futures suggest a lower open. Now here are the 10 unusual stocks to watch this morning >
- Initial jobless claims came in way better than expected, at 388,000. Check out the details here >
- Chinese PMI fell by slightly less than one point to 54.4 signaling a slowdown in the country’s manufacturing sector. Whether this is a product of the government’s tightening measures or not is unknown. Don’t miss: 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
- The Carlyle Group has sold a $860 million portion of its position in China Pacific Insurance Group. The firm has made a significant profit on its original investment.
- The weakening U.S. dollar is causing problems for Japanese exporters, and the Nikkei was down 1.12% overnight as a result. Japan has not entered into currency markets to weaken the yen this month.
- South Korea’s latest review of North Korea’s military might shows the country increasing its tank and special forces units. The rise in special forces has been huge, from 20,000 two years ago to 200,000 today. Here’s the full extent of North Korea’s military threat >
- Ivory Coast’s crisis worsened overnight with the President’s supporters threatening to take over the base of his opposition on January 1. The UN now says the country, a key cocoa supplier, could be on the brink of genocide.
- Both Lockheed Martin and Australia’s Austal have won bids to build a new class of U.S. Navy warship. Lockheed’s contract is worth $3.6 billion over the next five years. Check out what the U.S. Air Force is preparing for >
- Chicago PMI surged massively in December to 68.6. Read about it here >
- The Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.5% in November. Read about it here >
- Bonus: Denise Richards was seen leaving a movie theatre with her now boyfriend Nikki Sixx, of Motley Crue, last night.
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