Global stocks advanced today on increased optimism that the US will avoid a messy political fight over the next few weeks.
A meeting between the White House and congressional Republicans was reportedly a constructive one. President Obama told reporters in Bangkok that he is confident that the round of spending cuts and tax increases referred to as the fiscal cliff will not go into effect. The administration is reportedly proposing getting rid of $150 billion of corporate tax breaks over a decade to raise revenue and close the budget gap. One tax break on the chopping block is the carried interest rule, which is extremely lucrative for real estate, private equity, and hedge funds. Phasing out that break alone could bring the federal government another $13 billion in revenue.
Tomorrow, the Eurogroup of finance ministers will meet to discuss whether to disburse more aid funds to Greece. Last week, there were major disagreements between the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund concerning Greece's fiscal target.
Today at 10:00 a.m. EST, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report that existing home sales slowed slightly to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.7 million last month. In September, previously constructed homes sold at an annual rate of 4.75 million. Also, the National Association of Home Builders will release its housing market index for November. The index is expected to rise one point to 42.
Stock futures are showing that major indices are set to rally today. Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.46% to 12,628.00. S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures climbed 0.57% to 1,367.50, and Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.64% to 2,549.25.
(NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is reportedly in discussions with Facebook's
(NYSE:FB) Sheryl Sandberg about a future search alliance between the two Silicon Valley giants. Yahoo signed a 10-year deal to use Microsoft's
(NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing to power search in 2009, but closer cooperation with Facebook can complicate that relationship. Getting those millions of Facebook eyeballs can help improve Yahoo's search data, and the Facebook brand can probably help it attract better talent as well.
(NYSE:LOW) shares gained 4.6% after the company reported better-than-expected earnings. Sales for the second-biggest home improvement retailer rose 1.9% to $12.1 billion in the quarter, which ended November 2. Earnings rose 76% to $396 million, or $0.35 per share.
Non-performing loans at Spanish banks continue to balloon. Bad debts grew by 3 billion euros to a record 182.3 billion euros, or 10.7% of the 1.7 trillion total outstanding loans in the country.
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