10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell

Philly jesusREUTERS/Mark MakelaUsing his walking staff as a makeshift hockey stick, Michael Grant, 28, ‘Philly Jesus,’ skates at Rothman Ice Rink in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania December 14, 2014.

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.

Wall Street Closed Monday At Record Levels. The major US indexes closed at historic highs on Monday. The Dow gained 0.9% to hit a record of 17,959.4 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.4% to an all-time high of 2,078.5. 

Markets Are Up Again. US futures are once again in the green with Dow futures up 27 points and S&P futures up 2 points. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.6%, and Germany’s DAX is up 0.2%.

It’s A Busy Day For US Economic Data. Stay tuned for fresh data on durable good orders (8:30 a.m. ET), GDP (8:30 a.m.), income (10:00 a.m.), spending (10:00 a.m.), new home sales (10:00 a.m.), and consumer confidence (9:55 a.m.).

Greece Fails To Elect A President. “Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to capture the support needed to elect a new president in a second round of voting on Tuesday and now needs another 12 votes in the final round next week to avert a snap general election,” Reuters’ Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas reported. “Samaras’ nominee, Stavros Dimas, the only candidate in the race, had not been expected to win the second round and the score of 168 votes was broadly in line with expectations.”

Russia Greenlights The Bank Bailout. “Russian lawmakers pushed through a bill to aid banks, one day after the central bank announced its biggest bailout of a retail lender since the ruble’s collapse began,” Bloomberg’s Ksenia Galouchko and Olga Tanas reported. “The lower house of parliament today passed a bill in all three readings allowing the Deposit Insurance Agency to acquire stakes in banks before they face bankruptcy proceedings to support financial stability, according to a copy of the legislation.”

UK GDP grew at a 0.7% rate in Q3. The year-over-year rate was unexpectedly revised down to 2.6% from 3.0%.

Arab OPEC Leaders Expect $US70 Oil. “Arab OPEC producers expect global oil prices to rebound to between $US70 and $US80 a barrel by the end of next year as a global economic recovery revives demand, OPEC delegates said this week in the first indication of where the group expects oil markets to ‎stabilise in the medium term,” Reuters Rania El Gamal reported.

Alibaba Spends Millions Fighting Fake Goods. “China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world’s largest e-commerce company, spent over 1 billion yuan ($US160.7 million) combating fake goods and for improving customer protection from the beginning of 2013 to the end of November, the firm said Tuesday,” Reuters’ Paul Carsten reported.

Madoff Victims Are Getting More Money Back. “Victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme will get afresh $US322 million payout if a U.S. judge approves the request by the trustee liquidating the convicted fraudster’s firm, bringing the recovery total to more than $US7 billion,” Reuters’ Joseph Ax reported.

Germany’s Anti-Immigration Group Stages A Record Rally. An anti-immigration group called PEGID, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, took to the streets of Dresden on Monday in its largest demonstration to date with 17,000 people. The participants sang Christmas carols and listened to protests against immigrants and asylum-seekers. 

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