Good morning. Here's what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Nikkei up 2.25 percent and the Shanghai Composite down 0.8 percent. European markets are in the red across the board, with Italy down 1.4 percent. In the United States, the Dow and S&P 500 are flat early in the trading session.
- Israel continued to shell the Gaza Strip Friday and sent thousands of ground troops toward the Gaza border, marking the third day of violence. "The situation has all the elements and dynamics that could lead us down the road to a place we haven't been before," the CFR's Steve Cook told the WSJ.
- The euro area trade balance expanded in September on the back of surprisingly strong export figures from countries like Greece and Portugal. The numbers clash with other recent data that show ongoing deterioration in the European periphery.
- According to the Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos, the Federal Housing Administration is projected to report a bigger-than-expected loss for September. An independent audit suggests the FHA will require a bailout.
- The Japanese yen is tumbling and the stock market is surging. Japan will hold new elections on December 16 and the consensus expects new leader Shinzo Abe to pursue unlimited monetary stimulus.
- President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner will meet lawmakers today to negotiate a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
- Dell shares are sliding in pre-market trading after the company reported disappointing earnings and missed revenue expectations yesterday after the closing bell. Dell said PC sales plunged in Q3.
- Shares of Gap are up in pre-market trading after the company reported earnings and sales slightly ahead of analysts' expectations. Gap also guided below analysts' consensus estimates for Q4 profits.
- Bloomberg reports that Hostess, the maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, will be filing for bankruptcy. This comes as management and striking workers failed to make a deal.
- United States monthly industrial production unexpectedly fell 0.4 percent in October. Consensus estimates were for a 0.2 percent expansion.
- BONUS: Selena Gomez was spotted with Justin Bieber after the couple recently broke up.
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