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Pre-Market Primer: White House, GOP Differences Narrow; Apple Injunction Denied

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Households making $400,000 or more will see their taxes rise.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks are set to rise today as President Barack Obama made a counter-offer to Republicans on the fiscal cliff.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose 0.20% to 13,222 and S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures gained 0.30% to 1,431.30. However, Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.59% to 2,677.75.

President Obama narrowed differences with Republicans yesterday. He is now seeking tax increases for those earning more than $400,000 per year. The GOP initially sought a hard line against any tax rate increases, but conceded that only incomes over $1 million should see their rates change. Obama's plan would cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending. The hugely popular payroll tax holiday was not mentioned in Obama's proposal.

Japan's main equities index, the Nikkei 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) rose 1% to an eight-month high today after the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in Sunday's elections. The LDP is expected to do more to stimulate the economy and depreciate the yen. Japan's exporters rallied as the yen sank. The LDP has strong ties to the nuclear power industry, and some analysts are predicting that Japan's moratorium on nuclear power might end under the party's rule.

Yesterday, the same judge that awarded Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) over $1 billion in damages from Samsung (KRX:005930) in last summer's patent suit denied Apple's request to place permanent injunctions against 26 Samsung smartphones.

Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) will report earnings after the bell today. Analysts expect the company to have earned $0.61 per share in the fiscal second quarter, an improvement over the previous quarter's $0.54 per share. Revenue is expected to rise 2.5% to $9.03 billion. Bigger deals and strong software license sales are expected to offset weakness in hardware sales.

Knight Capital (NYSE:KCG), the market-maker that nearly went bankrupt this summer when a software glitch executed millions of erroneous trades is considering takeover offers from Getco Holdings and Vitu Financing. Knight still hasn't decided which offer to accept.

Bloomberg reports that China is setting its 2013 growth target at 7.5%, showing that the company is able to tolerate slower growth than it had enjoyed in previous years. The Chinese housing sector is showing some signs of improvement, however. Of the 70 cities studied, 53 saw home prices rise in November. On average, city housing rose 0.3%.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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