1) After data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Friday morning showed that the trade deficit widened unexpectedly in the month of November, economists may lower their projections for gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter… (Read more.)
2) The International Energy Agency is predicting that European demand for oil will drop in 2013, while demand in Asia will grow tremendously. Given the ongoing economic weakness and push for increased fuel efficiency, European demand for oil could drop by as much as half a million barrels for the year, while Asian demand could readily pick up the slack. After falling for five years, oil demand in Europe is at its lowest level in about two decades.
3) Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, gave a speech today in which he expressed concerns that the federal government’s ongoing stimulus risks a surge in inflation, and may ultimately hurt the overall attempt to repair the economy. However, Plosser is optimistic that unemployment will fall to near 7 percent by the end of the year.
At 12:30 p.m.: DJIA: +0.09%, S&P 500: -0.10%, NASDAQ: -0.05%.
Oil was down about half a percent to $93.31 per barrel. Gold was also down, falling 1.30 percent to $1,655.90 per ounce, while the yield for the 10-year T-bill climbed 0.006 points to 1.901 percent.