Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading as the Nikkei edged up 0.13 per cent while the Shanghai Composite fell 1 per cent and the Hang Seng fell 1.2 per cent. European stocks are up across the board, with Italy gaining 1 per cent, and bond yields are falling. In the United States, markets are opening modestly higher.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted in an interview that future debt writeoffs may be feasible in Greece. Many have argued that such a move would be the only way to bring Greek debt back to sustainable levels, and Merkel’s comments have helped spark a big rally in Greece today.
- U.S. airline giant Delta is in talks to purchase the 49 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways currently owned by Singapore Airlines. The acquisition would establish a significant presence for Delta at London’s Heathrow airport, where Virgin is the third-largest carrier.
- China’s HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to 50.5 from last month’s reading of 49.5, indicating the first expansion in Chinese manufacturing since July. On the services side, China PMI ticked up slightly to 55.6 from 55.5.
- Euro area PMI rose to 46.2 from 45.4 last month, indicating the slowest rate of contraction in eight months. Italian PMI fell to 45.1 while French PMI rose to 44.5, German PMI rose to 46.8, and U.K. PMI rose to 49.1.
- Fiscal cliff negotiations dragged on over the weekend as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Republicans that the president had put forth a plan and that the ball was in the GOP’s court now. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he was flabbergasted by the president’s plan and asked Geithner, “You can’t be serious?” Why There Is No Fiscal Cliff Deal >
- A labour strike at ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, which has forced a closure of 10 of the 14 terminals that comprise the two ports, concludes its first week today. The strike is currently costing the U.S. economy $1 billion per day.
- Markit U.S. PMI rose to 52.8 in November, beating estimates of 51.7 as well as the initial Markit estimate of 52.4 earlier in November. November ISM unexpectedly fell to 49.5, missing estimates of 51.4 and revealing a marked slowdown 51.7 last month. Construction spending unexpectedly rose 1.4 per cent after gaining 0.6 per cent the month before, beating expectations of a 0.5 per cent gain. Follow the releases LIVE on Money Game >
- Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren will speak 12:15 PM ET at a New York Fed conference on the state of the mortgage market and continued challenges in housing. At 1:40 PM ET, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard will give a speech in Little Rock on the state of the U.S. economy.
- Global auto manufacturers announce November sales figures today, and analysts expect the industry to post its strongest numbers in over four years, with auto sales projected to rise to over 15 million at an annualized rate. Follow all of today’s speeches and economic and auto data releases LIVE on Money Game >
- BONUS: TMZ reports that the IRS has seized all of Lindsay Lohan’s bank accounts.