Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were higher in overnight trading with the Hang Seng up 0.37 per cent. The Shanghai Composite and Nikkei were still closed for the holidays. Europe is moderately lower and U.S. stocks are down slightly as the euphoria about the fiscal cliff deal begins to fade.
- Late Wednesday, President Obama signed the bill to avoid the fiscal cliff. Meanwhile, the 113th Congress is being sworn in today, and faces a crucial vote on a $9 billion aid package for Sandy victims in the House on Friday. Watch Chris Christie go ballistic on John Boehner at a press conference >
- German unemployment increased by a seasonally adjusted 3,000 to 2.942 million in December. This was below expectations of an increase of 10,000.
- The ADP employment report for December is out and it jumped to 215k, smashing economists expectations for just 140k. However, initial jobless claims was a miss, jumping to 372k last week’s 362k reading. Economists were looking for 360k.
- A string of SEC filings show that Goldman Sachs gave insiders including CEO Lloyd Blankfein $65 million in restricted stock late Monday, hours before higher taxes for 2013 took effect, according to a WSJ report. Roubini: America has yet to wake up to the full extent of its fiscal nightmare >
- Spanish unemployment fell by 59,094 in December from the previous month, to 4.8 million. This was the first decline in five months as service industries increased hiring for the holiday season.
- The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) December 12 meeting will be out at 2 p.m. ET. Follow the release at Money Game >
- UK house prices eased 0.1 per cent in December to £162,262. On a year-ago basis they were down 1 per cent. Home prices are being impacted by the poor economic recovery.
- Auto sales for December will be out today and analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for domestic vehicle sales to decline to an 11.7 million annual rate. Total vehicle sales are also expected to ease to a 15.1 million annual rate.
- China’s services PMI climbed to 56.1 in December, from 55.6 the previous month. Byron Wien reveals 10 surprises for 2013 >
- Bonus – Jessica Chastain told InStyle magazine that she won’t date actors.
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