Oil above $60; markets mostly positive on thin trading day
It’s a quiet day for trading with all of the European markets, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong closed today as part of the Christmas holidays. The Asian markets that were open have closed higher, boosted by some stability in oil prices with Brent crude holding above $60. US stock futures are trending higher along with oil and gold.
Fed balance sheet at 4.30pm ET
Money supply at 4.30pm ET
El Capitan and Turtle Beach are among a small number of firms reporting today.
Sony benefits from ‘patriotic duty’ to see The Interview
Extra security measures involving the FBI and local law enforcement agencies have reassured movie-goers attending the opening day of Sony Picture’s controversial ‘The Interview’. Many were there for the comedy but there was also a patriotic spirit behind attendances with talk of protecting freedom of expression. With Sony having spent $40 million on the film and a further $20 million on initial promotion there is a lot to recoup, however with theaters reporting good sales and the film also being available pay-per-view online Sony will be hoping that there are plenty of people interested to find out what all the fuss has been about.
The battle is on: techs vs. hospitality
Google and Microsoft are the latest big names aiming to quash a plan by large hotel groups including Marriott to block guests using their smartphones as Wi-Fi hotspots. The hoteliers have asked the FCC to allow them to install blocking equipment, meaning guests will only be able to use the hotels’ own Wi-Fi networks, with the associated charges. The hoteliers claim there is a threat to the security of its network and could result in other guests’ data being at risk; however the consensus is that they are only trying to protect income from high Wi-Fi charges. The tech firms, including the wireless industry, claim it is not in the public interest to restrict access.
LG Electronics raided over damage to rival washing machines
The South Korean headquarters of electronics giant LG have been raided by prosecutors investigating claims that employees were seen deliberately damaging washing machines made by rival Samsung. The appliances were on display in retail stores in Germany. LG have denied the claims and say that they “regret the raid by prosecutors,” and that the action by Samsung may adversely affect LG’s credibility.