Shares recover as oil and commodities regain some ground
Improvement in the price of oil and recovery for commodities including iron ore and copper has led to a more positive day for stocks in Asia and Europe. Asia’s confidence returned as Chinese investors forecast new stimulus from Beijing after weak data on factory activity and minerals stocks in Australia were boosted by new demand fuelled by lower prices. The major markets in Asia have closed higher with Shanghai posted gains above 3 per cent. In Europe markets are also trading in positive territory with the optimism from Asia but also with rebounding oil prices giving a lift to energy stocks. The ECB meets this Thursday and while it isn’t expected to announce new measures, such as quantative easing, the markets are expecting more clues that extra stimulus is on the way next year. US stock futures are trending higher; oil is up slightly; gold is edging lower.
Motor Vehicle Sales
ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7.45am ET
Construction Spending at 10am ET
Bob Evans Farms, Omnivision and People’s Federal are among those reporting today.
Vehicle sales should show further gains
Today’s data on vehicle sales should confirm growth in the sector and the wider economy. Although the retail sector has seen some weaker indicators and factory output is moderating, the auto industry is expected to have grown to an annualized sales pace of 16.7 to 17 million.
Apple in court case which could cost it $1 billion
Allegations that Apple abused its monopoly position could cost the firm $1 billion if it loses a court case which is scheduled to start today. The action is being taken by a group of individuals and businesses who say Apple restricted the playing of music bought on iTunes to its iPod device from 2006 to 2009, locking out competing devices. The action refers to a particular software update which Apple claims included genuine improvements to the product and should therefore not be found to be anticompetitive. Damages sought by the plaintiffs are $350 million but under antitrust legislation it would be tripled automatically if Apple loses.
Fitch warns that some mortgage payments could more than double
Half of all performing US RMBS mortgage borrowers will see payment increases over the next five years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Payment increases have historically lead to higher default rates among mortgage borrowers and loans particularly vulnerable include those with adjustable interest rates, interest-only payments and certain modified loans. “Interest-only loans are in store for the largest payment increases,' said Director Sean Nelson, “As a wave of peak vintage 10-year IOs approaches recast, many mortgage borrowers could see their monthly payments more than double.”
Gas down to $1.99 a gallon for the holidays?
Gas prices could fall to below $2 for the Christmas season due to the drop in oil prices. Some analysts are predicting that we could see a gallon for $1.99 at a gas station somewhere by the end of the week, which would give a nice boost to motorists ahead of the festivities. GasBuddy says the average being paid at the pumps is $2.76 per gallon, 24 cents lower than last month.
FBI warns businesses of malicious attacks
Following the cyber attack on Sony Pictures last week, which continues to cause the company considerable issues, the FBI is warning businesses to be vigilant. The report says that the malware being used has the capability to shut down entire computer networks and recovery of data would be costly, assuming it is even possible.
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