Not much happened in the U.S. today.First the scoreboard:
Dow: 13,169, +14.7, +0.1 per cent
S&P 500: 1,418, +0.4, +0.0 per cent
NASDAQ: 2,986, +8.9, +0.3 per cent
And now the top stories:
- There was no major U.S. economic or earnings news to move markets today.
- There was, however, a huge dump of economic data out of China. Inflation picked up in November, but was more tame than expected. Industrial production and retail sales both accelerated nicely. “The Chinese economy is undoubtedly heating up,” wrote SocGen economist Wei Yao.
- China’s trade data, however, was unexpectedly disappointing. Export growth dropped to 2.9 per cent and import growth grinded to 0 per cent. Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Ting Lu explained: “We believe the big volatility in export growth since Sep 2012 could be driven by a bunch of factors such as working days and base effects, but we would like to highlight that strikes in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California from 27 Nov to 4 Dec could play a role as these two ports handle 40% of American imports (surely much more of imports from Asia).”
- Political turmoil has returned to Italy. First was that announcement that Silvio Berlusconi would run for prime minister again. Then, current prime minister Mario Monti announced that he would resign after passing the country’s budget. Italy’s FTSE MIB index fell 2.2 per cent today.
- McDonald’s reported that same-store sales jumped 2.4 per cent in November, beating expectations. The U.S. led growth by jumping 2.5 per cent during the period.
- Shares of Groupon got slammed today. The stock gave back a lot of the gains it saw on Friday. Ken Sena of Evercore Partners explained Friday’s trade as a short squeeze based on “a swirl of speculative information and potentially false reports.”
- Meanwhile, fiscal cliff negotiations continue to stall.
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