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Nikkei Grinds Higher to End Historic Year

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Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

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The Japanese Nikkei (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) index rose 0.69% overnight and capped off its largest annual advance since 1973, according to Bloomberg. The index closed the year with gains of 57%. Additionally, the yen has declined 21.16% vs. the US dollar this year.

US stock indices remained slightly negative for much of today's session, but managed to close near the flat line. Energy stocks suffered the worst losses in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), dropping 0.81%. Crude oil futures fell 1.09%. The consumer discretionary sector was the best performer, with Disney (NYSE:DIS) posting the strongest gains.

November pending home sales contracts fell 0.2% from the prior month and declined to a -4% annual growth rate. Economists had estimated sales would grow 1.0% and 0.1%, respectively.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) continued its sell-off from Friday, declining another 8% to today's low. However, the stock managed to find some support after its early morning sell-off, but still finished down 5.18% for the day. The stock has lost 19.03% since peaking at $74.73 last Thursday following a number of analyst downgrades.

Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) announced that private equity giant Blackstone (NYSE:BX) has taken a $200 million stake in the company via convertible preferred debt. The company will use roughly $150 million of that money to buy back common stock. The deal also came with terms that Blackstone would not be able to acquire more than 25% of Crocs. The stock gained 21.23% in today's trading on 34.5x normal volume.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

The October S&P/Case Shiller home price index will be released tomorrow morning before the market opens. Economists estimate that prices will rise 13.45% from a year ago and 0.95% from the prior month. In addition, the regional Chicago purchasing manager's index will be released. The index reached a two-and-a-half-year high in October, and economists estimate it will remain near that level in December. Lastly, the Conference Board will release its December consumer confidence index, which economists estimate will rise to 76.2 from 70.4 in the month prior.

There are no notable global market-moving data or US earnings reports scheduled for tomorrow.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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