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Pre-Market: Apple Wants to Ban Obsolete Samsung Products; 1.3 Million to Lose Unemployment Benefits


Japan is escaping deflation, but problems remain.

Stocks were on pause this morning with little economic data on the calendar, but Washington could be in for another fiscal fight over extended unemployment benefits.

US stock indices are relatively flat before the opening bell today, following record runs on Thursday. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.02% at 16,426. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures fell 0.03% to 1,835.80 and futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) ticked up 0.03% to 3,583.00. Following the drop in jobless claims reported yesterday, bonds fell. The 10-year Treasury yield roes two basis points to 3.01% today.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is renewing its legal fight to ban Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) products that are no longer on the market. The devices in question were deemed to infringe on Apple's design patents in 2012, but the judge later overturned the sales ban. Apple argues that although Samsung no longer sells these devices, such as the outdated Galaxy S, it still needs the injunction to combat future infringement. Apple investors reacted negatively soon after the news of the renewed legal fight hit the wires, but pre-market shares rose 0.12% by the time of this writing.

Textron Inc (NYSE:TXT), maker of Cessna aircraft and Bell helicopters, rose 5% this morning on the announcement that the Rhode Island-based company will buy all outstanding shares of Beechcraft, another aviation company, for $1.4 billion in cash. Beechcraft, fresh out of bankruptcy 10 months ago, was eager to sell its unprofitable plane business.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) shares eased from yesterday's high. After rising 4.8% yesterday, pre-market shares of the social-networking company are down 2%.

About 1.3 million Americans will lose extended unemployment benefits tomorrow. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the government has helped support the long-term unemployed. Democrats vowed to fight to extend the program's funding in the new year.

The yen-to-dollar ratio rose by 0.1% to 104.9 today as further evidence that the government's anti-deflation policies are working. Core inflation in November rose to a five-year high of 1.2%, beating economists' expectations. Excluding fresh food and fuel, prices rose 0.6%. In November, retail sales rose by more than expected to 4%. Household spending missed expectations, rising just 0.2% while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4%. Japan's manufacturing PMI hit a six-year high of 55.2 this month.

Investors are growing concerned about political stability in Turkey. Three ministers in the government resigned as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is embroiled in a corruption scandal. The issue could rock the Islamic AKP party and possibly remove a stabilizing force in the region. Turkey's stock market fell 4% today and the Turkish lira dropped more than 2% on the dollar to $2.17.

(See also: Three Critical Global Developments to Watch)

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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