Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mostly higher in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 1.43 percent to a 2-month high on expectations of looser monetary policy after the elections. Europe is rallying across the board and U.S. markets are higher too. Market gains are being attributed to Fiscal Cliff optimism.
- Spanish bad loans climbed in September, increasing to 10.7 percent of their outstanding portfolios, up from 10.5 percent. Bad debt now totals about $182.2 billion.
- Italian industrial sales fell 4.2 percent on the month in September, and 5.4 percent on the year.
- Politico's Ben White thinks the fiscal cliff debate is unlikely to go over its December 31 deadline. He writes that Republicans "understand they have lost the war over taxes going up on the wealthiest Americans and are just trying to figure out how to get the least objectionable deal that includes real spending cuts and a trigger for tax and entitlement reform." The ultimate guide to the fiscal cliff >
- Existing home sales for October and housing market index for November will he out at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus is for existing home sales to fall to an annualized pace of 4.7 million and for the housing market index to rise to 42. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Lowe's reported net income of $0.35 per share, on revenue of $12.1 billion. Lowe's beat revenue expectations and said it still expects total sales to be flat for the fiscal year. Check out the 20 most distressed cities in America >
- The conflict between Israel and Hamas is ongoing. Israel bombed dozens of suspected militant areas in the Gaza Strip on Monday, according to Reuters. The death toll in Gaza is said to have reached 90, while three Israeli civilians have been killed. Israel has said that ground forces are ready to invade the Gaza Strip.
- In M&A news, HSBC is in talks to sell its $9.3 billion stake in China's Ping An Insurance. Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp will reportedly acquire a 49 percent stake in the YES Network.
- America's shadow banking industry has increased by $6 trillion to total about $67 trillion, according to a new report by the Financial Stability Board.
- President Obama has become the first incumbent to visit Myanmar. He met with president Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and called for domestic and economic reform.
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