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- Asian markets were higher in overnight trading, with the Nikkei up 0.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite up 0.4 percent. In Europe, markets are mostly higher with the exception of France, down 0.1 percent. In the United States, futures point to a positive open.
- German CPI inflation fell 0.1 percent in November from the month before, dragged down by lower energy costs. Meanwhile, the index was up 1.9 percent year-over-year in November. The numbers suggest the ECB may have a little more room for additional monetary easing.
- UK jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 3K in November after rising by 6K the month before. Analysts were expecting an increase of 7K claims. The headline unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent.
- The pace of contraction in eurozone industrial production accelerated in October. Industrial activity fell 3.6 percent from the year before versus expectations of a 2.4 percent decline and a contraction of 2.8 percent in September. The figure marked the steepest drop in three years.
- After a brief period of politically-induced market turmoil, the yield on Italian sovereign debt fell today at a government bond auction. The yield on short-term bills fell to its lowest level since March, and investor demand for the notes increased from the last auction.
- Japanese machine orders unexpectedly rose 1.2 percent in October from the previous year after registering a 7.8 percent year-over-year decline the month before. The numbers contrast with the latest GDP figures over the weekend that indicate the Japanese economy has entered recession.
- Saudi Arabia cut its oil output to the lowest levels in a year at yesterday's OPEC meeting. Rising U.S. oil production and a weak global economy were said to weigh on demand for Saudi oil. The move underscores the broader theme of a return to American energy dominance.
- PetroChina announced the purchase of a $1.6 billion stake in an Australian natural gas production venture from Australian resource giant BHP Billiton. The deal is part of China's race to acquire natural resources across the globe to support its large and growing economy.
- North Korea launched a rocket that the country says put a weather satellite into orbit. The launch's success was confirmed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The action alarmed South Korea, the U.S., and Japan, the latter of which called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to address the issue.
- The Federal Reserve releases the results of its December FOMC meeting at 12:30 PM ET, followed by updated staff forecasts at 2 PM and a press conference delivered by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at 2:15. Wall Street expects the Fed to announce QE4, an open-ended commitment to $45 billion per month in unsterilized purchases of long-dated U.S. Treasury bonds, to replace the expiring Operation Twist. Follow the releases and presser LIVE on Money Game >
- BONUS: Lolo Jones was selected by Business Insider as the sexiest (female) athlete alive.
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