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Reports US

US stock market, economy and companies update (December 31, 2013)

December 31, 2013, Tuesday, 18:50 GMT | 13:50 EST | 23:20 IST | 01:50 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- US equities are seeing a New Year's Eve rally, with solid gains inspired by good US economic data. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.32%, the S&P500 is up 0.32% and the Nasdaq is up 0.53%.

- The October S&P/Case-Shiller showed that home prices continued to see robust gains through the fall. Analysts highlighted that Q3 data from CoreLogic data showed that 4.1 million homeowners have escaped negative equity in 2013, helping to significantly improve home balance sheets and confidence (6.4 million remain in negative equity). The December consumer confidence survey certainly reinforces this point, with the index rising to 78.1 from 72 in November. The Conference Board said that sentiment was close to a 5-year high (April 2008, 81.9), with consumers attributing the improvement to more favorable economic and labor market conditions.

- Speculation is on regarding who is looking to stir up trouble at Hertz. Last night, the company adoped a one-year shareholder rights plan and disclosed that it had had "dialogue" with a number of shareholders. This morning, CNBC reported that a large activist investor was looking at making a move, while also asserting that Third Point's Loeb has taken a position in the company amounting to less than 5% but does not intend to take an activist stance. Shares of HTZ are up more than 8%.

- Revlon said it would exit its operations in China and eliminate about 1,100 positions, or about 16% of its total workforce. The China business makes up about 2% of net sales, and the restructuring will result in about $22 million of pretax charges, inclusive of a $20.9 million charge already taken in December.

- Netflix said it was testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers. Among the plans being tested are a $6.99/month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched and a $9.99/month plan that allows three streams at one time. This compares to the company's standard $7.99/month plan for video on up to 2 screens at once and an $11.99/month service for streaming up to four shows at once.

***Looking Ahead***
- 19:00 (KR) South Korea Dec Trade Balance: $3.6Be v $4.8B prior; Exports Y/Y: 4.8%e v 0.2% prior; Imports Y/Y: +1.5%e v -0.6% prior
- 20:00 (CN) China Dec Manufacturing PMI: 51.2e v 51.4 prior
- (US) New York's New Mayor de Blasio takes office
- (US) Budget Agreement Tax Breaks Expire
- (LV) Latvia adopts the Euro

***Economic Data***
- (IL) Israel Nov Unemployment Rate: 5.5% v 5.9% prior
- (IL) Israel Q3 Preliminary GDP Annualized: 2.0% v 2.2% prior
- (PT) Portugal Nov Industrial Production M/M: +1.4% v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: 2.9% v 3.3% prior
- (PT) Portugal Nov Retail Sales M/M: +3.1% v -1.1% prior; Y/Y: 3.6% v 0.1% prior
- US) ICSC Chain Store Sales w/e Dec 28th: w/w +1.0%; y/y: +3.0%
- (PL) Poland Central Bank (NBP) Dec Inflation Expectations: 0.7% v 0.7%e
- (US) Redbook Retail Sales w/e Dec 28th: +4.5% y/y, Dec MTD: -0.7% m/m; Dec MTD +3.5% y/y
- (US) Oct S&P/ CaseShiller 20 City M/M: 1.05% v 0.95%e; Y/Y: 13.61% v 13.45%e; Home Price Index: 165.91 v 165.76e
- (US) Dec Chicago Purchasing Manager: 59.1 v 60.5e
- (US) Dec Consumer Confidence Index: 78.1 v 76.3e
- (MX) Mexico Nov Net Outstanding Loans (MXP): 2.49T v 2.449T prior