Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading with the Nikkei surging 2.39 percent and breaching the 10,000 level for the first time since April. Europe is rallying and U.S. futures are modestly higher.
- Japan's exports fell 4.1 percent year-over-year in November, down for the sixth straight month. The decline was led by the exports to the EU which fell 19.9 percent. The trade deficit widened to 953.4 billion yen.
- Germany's Ifo business climate index rose to 102.4 in December, from 101.4 the previous month, beating expectations.
- Unhappy with president Obama's concessions on the fiscal cliff, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said they expect to pass their own tax bill as an alternative to avert the fiscal cliff. The bill isn't expected to pass the Senate which is controlled by Democrats. Check out 13 outlier events for 2013 >
- Fitch warned that the U.S. could lose its AAA rating if Washington didn't reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Fitch currently has a negative outlook on the U.S..
- Housing starts for November will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Expectations are for housing starts to fall to an annual pace of 865,000. Follow the release at Money Game >
- FedEx missed expectations when it reported earnings of $1.39 per share, against analyst expectations of $1.41 per share. In the third quarter, the company expects earnings of $1.25-1.45 per share.
- Multi-industry manufacturer SPX Corp is close to acquiring rival Gardner Denver in a deal valued at roughly $4.2 billion, according to Reuters.
- China is rapidly opening up its capital markets. The China Financial Futures Exchange which hosts trading of stock index futures, is expected to announce the first batch of foreign investors that can invest there by January, according to the WSJ. 10 investors are expected to be chosen under China's Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) program. Look at all the reforms China has passed since the Party Congress >
- Knight Capital Group's board has reportedly agreed to sell the equities market making firm to Getco Holding Company, according to Reuters. Getco sweetened its cash-and-stock bid to about $2 billion.
- Bonus - Anne Hathaway and Samuel L. Jackson faced off over the most miserable Christmas movie in a Funny Or Die sketch.
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