Markets in positive territory; oil holding up
Asia’s major markets have closed higher today, buoyed by the Fed’s beige book which painted a largely rosy picture for the US economy yesterday. There is also increasing expectation of further stimulus from China and Japan’s sentiment is rising ahead of the election at the end of next week. In Europe the markets are also higher, boosted by Asia and the US and also in anticipation of more stimulus measures from the ECB. Although it is unlikely to announce any immediate changes to policy when it meets today, Europe’s central bank is expected to give further signals that it is ready to act in the New Year. US stock futures are trending higher along with oil but gold is slightly down.
Weekly jobless claims at 8.30am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9.45am ET
Barnes & Noble, Sears Holdings and Smith & Wesson are among those reporting today.
Wall St. ends on record highs
Yesterday saw record closing highs for the Dow and S&P as positive data and rising oil prices boosted the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 33.07 points (0.18 percent) at 17,912.62 while the S&P 500 ended the day up 7.78 points (0.38 percent) at 2,074.33.
US jobs cut at GlaxoSmithKline
British pharma firm GlaxoSmithKline has announced cuts in its US workforce. The firm blames tougher market conditions for the decision to restructure its operations with sales and research roles among those to be lost. GSK will cut around 900 jobs in North Caroline as it consolidates its drug research operations in the UK and Philadelphia. Some staff will have the opportunity to relocate. The firm has announced a cost saving plan in October in a bid to save $1.6 billion but did not give more details. GSK has seen decline in sales, particularly of its lung drug Advair.
Putin accuses the west of “pure cynicism” over Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been making a key speech to his nation and accused the west of “pure cynicism” over Ukraine. Russia’s economy has been hit badly by sanctions and disposable income for Russians next year will fall by almost 3 per cent on average; that’s the first drop since Putin came to power.
Google to launch products for kids
Google says it will be adapting some of its products for children under 12 but has not specified exactly what they will be. Although there will certainly be those who will criticize ‘targeting’ children ,parents concerned that their kids have access to an adult world are likely to welcome child-friendly versions of YouTube, Gmail and Google’s search engine.
Ford to expand airbag recall nationwide
The manufacturer may be resisting a demand to expand a recall of motors fitted with potentially lethal airbags but Ford, Chrysler and Honda have both agreed to do so. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s request follows a deadline for a national recall that has been missed by manufacturer Takata. Some of the autos being recalled will be fitted by airbags from other manufacturers and there are suggestions that Takata may suffer irreparable financial damage from the issue.