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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.45 per cent on expectations that Beijing will introduce measures to boost domestic demand. Europe is selling off and U.S. futures are flat.
- Apple’s shares have fallen below $500 in pre-market trading for the first time since February. Over the weekend, Citi lowered its price target on Apple and cut its rating to ‘neutral’. Morgan Stanley however said demand for the iPhone 5 is strong.
- Japan held elections this weekend which saw the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) come to power with an overwhelming victory. LDP’s Shinzo Abe is expected to replace prime minister Yoshihiko Noda and had campaigned promising more monetary and fiscal stimulus.
- This weekend saw a ‘breakthrough’ in fiscal cliff negotiations. First it was reported that Speaker John Boehner had agreed to a tax hike for those making more than $1 million a year, a concession considered too limited by the White House. It was later reported that he was also willing to offer a one-year debt ceiling hike. The truth about the deficit >
- China held its Central Economic Work Conference this weekend which sets forth monetary policy for 2013. Policymakers agreed to spend more to shore up the economy if necessary but are unlikely to announce a large stimulus. Policymakers also said that “expanding domestic demand will be a strategic basis for China’s development next year,” according to Xinhua. 8 big ways China’s policies screws its citizens >
- Last night president Obama addressed the community of Newtown, Connecticut and promised to take action to prevent massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary that left 26 dead, mostly children between the ages of six and seven. Meanwhile, policymakers are calling for a ban on assault weapons.
- The Empire State manufacturing survey missed expectations falling to -8.10 in December.
- UBS faces a $1.6 billion fine to settle claims of Libor manipulation by the Justice Department, regulators in the UK and Switzerland, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to Bloomberg.
- Euro-area exports fell 1.4 per cent month-over-month in October and imports climbed 0.6 per cent. The trade surplus narrowed to €7.9 billion.
- AIG plans to sell all of its shares in Hong Kong based AIA Group for $6.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. AIG has a 13.7 per cent stake left in AIA and this would be the third sale this year. Check out Goldman’s top trades for 2013 >