U.S. Stocks Fall as Deadline Approaches on Budget Deal (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower for a fifth day, amid concern talks between President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers may not yield a budget deal by the year-end deadline. “The markets are willing to turn on a dime, on whatever the news, whether it’s positive or negative,” Greg Peterson, director of investment research at Ballentine Partners LLC in Waltham, Mass. “What the markets fear most is that we’re in this paralysis where the government is unable to govern, communicate and compromise.”
Tablet, Smartphone Activations Soared this Christmas (CNBC)
More Android and Apple iOS devices were activated on Christmas Day than on any other day in history, according to Flurry, a mobile analytics firm. On Dec. 25, more than 17.4 million devices were activated, which is 2.5 times more activations than there were on Christmas Day in 2011, Flurry reported. According to Flurry, there were about 4 million iOS or Android devices on average activated daily during Dec. 1 to Dec. 20. So activations soared on Christmas Day by more than 332% above the baseline. Last year, activations reached 6.8 million on Christmas Day.
Will 2013 Be the ‘Break-Out’ Year for China Stocks? (CNBC)
Chinese stocks have staged a remarkable comeback in the final weeks of the year, gaining more than 12% in December after languishing in negative territory for most of 2012, prompting analysts to say 2013 finally may be the year Chinese markets break out of the doldrums. The Shanghai Composite Index hit a five-month high earlier this week on Christmas day and closed 1.2% higher on Friday as investors bet that the worst is over for Chinese stocks. “During an election or transition of power, usually you get that type of dysfunction and disruption. It’s one of the reasons people avoided China over the course of this last year,” Jack Bouroudjian, CEO of fund manager Bull and Bear Partners, said. “Guess what? The dust has now settled. We are going to see capital go back to China.”