Good morning! Here are 10 major stories you need to know about before markets open in the US.
Stocks Are Up Again. The bull market continues. Dow futures are up 21 points, and S&P futures are up 2 points. In Europe, Britain's FTSE is up 0.1%, France's CAC 40 is up 0.5%, and Germany's DAX is up 0.9%. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.3%.
Japan's Kuroda Is Ready To Ease More. "Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Tuesday stressed the bank's readiness to expand stimulus further to meet its price goal, a message that was partially echoed by an European Central Bank policymaker as the eurozone economy battles to lift off," Reuters' Leika Kihara and Stanley White reported. "In a speech to business leaders, Kuroda stood firm in the face of criticism that last month's unexpected monetary easing has accelerated unwelcome falls in the currency, saying that the 'BOJ will continue to take action' to vanquish deflation."
Bayer May Sell Its Diabetes Business. "German drugmaker Bayer AG is considering a fresh attempt to sell its diabetes device business as it sharpens its focus on margin-rich healthcare sectors, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday," Reuters' Arno Schuetze and Ludwig Burger reported.
Sony To Cut TV Lineup. "Japan's loss-making Sony Corp. plans to slash its TV and mobile phone product lineups to cut costs, counting on multibillion-dollar revenue surges for its buoyant PlayStation 4 and image sensor businesses over the next three years," Reuters' Reiji Murai reported.
General Motors Is Expecting Sluggish Demand Everywhere But The US. General Motors President Dan Ammann on Monday said he expected "more of the same" next year from a US auto market that has been growing slowly, while he is bracing for continued soft demand in other parts of the globe.
GDP Revised Way Up. Q3 US GDP growth was revised up to 3.9% from an earlier estimate of 3.5%. Economists had forecast a downward revision to 3.3%. From the BEA: "With the second estimate for the third quarter, private inventory investment decreased less than previously estimated, and both personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment increased more. In contrast, exports increased less than previously estimated.
An Update On Home Prices. The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price index climbed 0.34% year-over-year in September, which was in line with expectations. “The overall trend in home price increases continues to slow down,” S&P's David Blitzer said. "The Northeast region reported its first negative monthly returns since December 2013 and its worst annual returns since December 2012 due to weaknesses in Washington D.C. and Boston. The West and Southwest, previously strong regions, are seeing price gains fade. The only region showing any sustained strength is the Southeast led by Florida; price gains are also evident in Atlanta and Charlotte."
Confidence Check. At 10 a.m. ET, we'll get the consumer confidence report. Economists estimate the Conference Board's index of sentiment climbed to 96.0 in November. "The Conference Board index hit a seven-year high of 94.5 in October," Credit Suisse economists noted. "We estimate that the upward momentum continued in November, given the stock market’s near record highs and significant further declines in gasoline prices."
Ferguson Cop Avoids Charges For Teen's Death. A grand jury decided not to indict Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Peaceful protest slowly escalated into riots and looting. Tear gas flew, police cars went up in flames, and stores burned down.
New Details. Wilson's grand jury testimony and photos of his injuries were released following the decision not to indict. In Wilson's words: "He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he's coming back towards me ... His first step is coming towards me, he kind of does like a stutter step to start running. When he does that, his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me."
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