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26 December 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • Japan's ruling coalition adopts 2% inflation target
    Newly elected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party and his main coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, formally backed "bold monetary easing" aimed at driving the inflation rate up to 2%. The agreement between the two parties calls for adoption of a supplemental budget providing for new spending between now and March 2013, as well as deregulation of the health care, energy and environment sectors. Bloomberg (26 Dec.), NHK World (Japan) (25 Dec.), Reuters (25 Dec.), Market News International (26 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NYSE sued by pension fund over $8.2B ICE deal
    The New Jersey Carpenters Pension Fund filed a lawsuit against NYSE Euronext saying its $8.2 billion deal with IntercontinentalExchange undervalues NYSE stock. The complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court asks the court to block the sale. The papers seek approval of the action as a class-action suit on behalf of other NYSE Euronext shareholders. Reuters (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama administration reportedly considers refinancing plans
    Sources say that the Obama administration is looking at plans to offer mortgage-refinancing programs to borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth and who don't have plans backed by the U.S. government. At the end of June, about 22% of all homes with a mortgage -- about 10.8 million homes, down from 12.1 million at the end of 2011 -- were worth less than what borrowers owed. The Wall Street Journal (25 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • School shooting leads to clients' calls to financial advisers
    Financial advisers are hearing from clients who want to discuss how they should respond to this month's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Some advisers said that even investors who want absolutely no exposure to the firearms industry may find it difficult to get all connections to the gun industry out of their portfolios. The Wall Street Journal (19 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Market Activity 
  • Broad rally continues on most Asian-Pacific markets
    Most Asian-Pacific markets posted gains Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 1.5% after gaining 1.4% on Tuesday. Singapore's Straits Times added 0.5%. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%. South Korea's Kospi and Taiwan's Taiex were flat. India's Sensex was up 0.8% at midafternoon. Markets in Australia and Hong Kong were closed for holidays. MarketWatch (26 Dec.), The Economic Times (India) (31 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Dealers hoard Treasurys as "fiscal cliff" looms
    Bond dealers have lowered the bonds offered to the Federal Reserve to an average of $8.04 billion per day over the past two weeks -- down from $11.6 billion in September 2011. Demand is growing for U.S. government debt safety as Congress struggles to put together a "fiscal cliff" plan. According to a Bloomberg survey of analysts, 10-year rates will grow to 1.88% by the end of June 2013, and 2.17% by the end of next year. Bloomberg (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economics 
  • Japanese yen falls to lowest value of 2012 against U.S. dollar
    The decline of Japan's yen against the U.S. dollar accelerated after the release of Bank of Japan minutes showed support among the central bank's policymakers for driving down the value of Japan's currency. The yen fell to its lowest value against the dollar this year. MarketWatch (25 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Car sales set to grow in U.S., China and India in 2013
    2013 is likely to be a good year for car sales in the U.S., China and India, according to The Economist, quoting data from the research firm IHS. Elsewhere in the world, sales likely will slow down. "Although some European car factories face closure, elsewhere assembly lines are being built at a rapid clip," the magazine notes. "So once again worldwide car production, at 82.8m, will exceed sales, at 81.9m." The Economist (22 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Snow futures in the forecast
    The CME Snowfall Index offers average monthly snowfall information in the U.S., so those who want to trade snowfall futures can get an idea of weather patterns. Snowfall products consist of six contracts in 10 locations, and this feature discusses the differences between the all-inclusive model and binary options. "The contracts have received more exposure in the last couple of years, and we've seen interest ranging from municipalities to snow-removal companies, ski resorts, outdoor-equipment suppliers and salt companies," says Heidi Centola, manager of weather and alternative-investment products at CME Group. OpenMarkets.com (21 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • Madoff: Insider trading is nothing new
    Bernie Madoff wrote in a letter to CNBC that recent cases of insider trading may be fresh in the news, but the practice has gone on "forever." "[O]ne would be led to believe that with the recent spate of insider trading prosecution that insider trading is a new development," Madoff writes. "This is false. It has been present in the market forever, but rarely prosecuted. The same can be said of front running of orders." CNBC (25 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC preps high-tech system that gives it real-time trading data
    The Securities and Exchange Commission is testing software for a system that will give it, for the first time, direct access to real-time data on what's going on in the U.S. securities markets. The technology, which will cost the regulator about $2.5 million for the first year, is scheduled to go into full operation early in 2013. The Washington Post (24 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Small banks try to cope with loss of unlimited deposit guarantee
    Across the U.S., smaller banks are trying to assure business customers that their money won't be at risk when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s unlimited guarantee on some accounts that don't pay interest ends Monday. When the Transaction Account Guarantee expires, the government's guarantee on noninterest-bearing accounts will drop back to the $250,000 limit that applies to other types of accounts. The Wall Street Journal (25 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • 2013 outlook for mutual funds
    According to Deloitte, the mutual fund industry in 2013 will be marked by more regulation, exchange-traded funds and outsourcing for mutual funds. Deloitte expects more balanced and fixed-income funds to come to market next year. On top of that, fund firms offering alternative, hedge fundlike strategies are likely to see inflows, the report said. Financial-Planning.com (25 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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