Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.27 percent. European markets are also mixed with the German DAX closed for Christmas Eve. U.S. futures are modestly lower and the NYSE will also close early for the holidays.
- Speaking on CNN's 'State of the Union' yesterday, policymakers said they expect the U.S. to go over the fiscal cliff. "It's the first time that I feel it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not," said Senator Joe Lieberman. "If we allow that to happen it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in American history." Rosenberg presents 34 charts you have to see before investing in 2013 >
- Incoming Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has pressured the Bank of Japan to pursue a 2 percent inflation target. This weekend, he made a veiled threat to strip the central bank of its independence if policymakers failed to adjust the inflation target. Deutsche Bank: 13 outlier events for 2013 >
- Over a 100 people have reportedly been killed after a Syrian warplane bombed a bakery in the western village of Halfaya, according to CNN. This was followed by reports that the government used chemical weapons on rebel forces, a move that U.S. had previously said would be a "red line" and could force a U.S. intervention.
- Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the country will improve farmers land rights, rural income, and increase agricultural subsidies, citing a report from the Central Economic Work Conference. Land reform and income equality were reported to be key reforms under the new leadership. Now see why China has the worst farms in the world >
- Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi described his 2011 resignation as a "coup d'etat" led by Detusche Bank to CNBC. He blamed the b ank for the surge in Italian bond yields which he said led to the overthrow of his government.
- Google is reportedly working with Motorola, which it recently acquired, on a secret X-phone in an attempt to gain marketshare from Apple and Samsung. It is also expected to work on an X-tablet after the phone.
- UK home prices fell 0.1 percent in December, declining for a sixth straight month, according to property researcher Hometrack Ltd. It also projected that home prices would fall 1 percent next year.
- Singapore's inflation climbed 3.6 percent year-over-year in November, slowing to a two year low.
- An Afghan woman in police uniform killed a civilian contractor in Kabul, according to NATO. Reports about the identity of the victim are mixed, some say it was a U.S. police adviser, others say the person was a contracted civilian employee, according to Reuters.
- Bonus - Miranda Kerr tweeted a photo of herself dressed as Santa's little helper.
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