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Monday, December 22, 2014

RETALIATION? North Korea's Internet goes dark in possible cyberattack

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RETALIATION? North Korea's Internet goes dark in possible cyberattack
RETALIATION? North Korea's Internet goes dark in possible cyberattack

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STOCKS RALLY TO A RECORD HIGH: Here's What You Need To Know

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December 22, 2014

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For a while there, traders and investors lost faith in Santa Claus rallies. The stock market has erased all of its December losses and now sits at a record level.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 17,959.4, +154.6, (+0.8%)
  • S&P 500: 2,078.5, +7.8, (+0.3%)
  • Nasdaq: 4,781.4, +16.0, (+0.3%)

And now, the top stories on Friday:

1. US futures were already pointing to a higher open. Stocks remained in the green for most of the day. While the S&P 500 set a record closing high, the December 5 intraday record high still holds at 2,079.4.

2. The pace of existing home sales plunged 6.1%in November to an annualized rate of 4.93 million units. This was much worse than the 1.1% decline expected by economists. "Fewer people bought homes last month despite interest rates being at their lowest levels of the year," said the NAR's Lawrence Yun. "The stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers' psyche and therefore led to fewer November closings. Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market."

3. Despite the disappointing report, markets brushed it off. Perhaps traders were focused on the positives of the report like BMO Capital Markets economist Jennifer Lee. "Of the closings, first-time homebuyers made up 31%, the largest share since October 2012," Lee wrote. "Granted this is still far from the 40%-to-45% range during normal times but after spending the last 19 months below 30%, this increase is a very encouraging development."

4. Warm weather has boosted natural gas inventory levels, and that's been crushing prices. Natural gas futures plunged 9% to $3.144 per million BTUs, the lowest level since January 9, 2013. This is good news for consumers.

5. Also good news for consumers, gas prices continue to fall thanks to low oil costs. According to a Lundberg survey released Sunday, that average price of gasoline in the US fell $0.25 in the past two weeks to $2.47 per gallon. This is the lowest level in five-and-a-half years. American consumers should enjoy it while it lasts; energy pros all expect oil prices to rally from here.

Don't Miss: 17 Mindblowing Facts About North Korea »

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7 Teens Come Home Pregnant From School Trip (Newser Happy Hour 6-pack)

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The day's six most popular stories, in time to unwind.


7 Teens Come Home Pregnant From School Trip

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Teen's Legs Severed at His 18th Birthday Party

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Murdered NYC Cop Leaves Behind Bride of 3 Months

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(Newser) - At opposite ends of Brooklyn, NYPD officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32— shot and killed on Saturday by Ismaaiyl Brinsley—are being mourned, the New York Times reports. Neighbors describe Ramos, who joined the NYPD three years ago, as a "wonderful man" who took pride in his... More  »

 
Why Last Night Wasn't Earth's Longest

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Pyongyang: We'll Strike US Over 'Reckless' Rumors

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(Newser) - North Korea's call for a joint investigation with the US into the Sony hack may have sounded unusually reasonable, but a statement issued last night is full of the bluster more normally associated with Pyongyang. The statement in state-run media accused the US of being behind the making of... More  »

 
Cops: 'Caged Rat' Shot, Ran Over Florida Officer

Cops: 'Caged Rat' Shot, Ran Over Florida Officer

(Newser) - A Florida man who allegedly told investigators he killed an officer because he felt like a "caged rat" and didn't want to go back to jail now has little hope of ever leaving prison alive. Authorities say Marco Antonio Parilla Jr., 23, who was wanted on a probation... More  »

 

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9 Things Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 Does Better Than The iPhone 6

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Business Insider Select
 
December 22, 2014
9 Things Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 Does Better Than The iPhone 6 9 Things Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 Does Better Than The iPhone 6

VIDEO: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can do a bunch of things better than Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
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THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY EXPLAINED: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem
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We Went To The 49ers' Amazing High-Tech Stadium - And We Don't Want To Go To Any Other Stadium Ever Again
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On Saturday, Citrix invited us down to Santa Clara to see the 49ers...  Read»
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Wall Street Is Calling For The Resignation Of An Investment Billionaire
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FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers...  Read»
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Why Most Buyers Should Plan To Live In A New Home For At Least Five Years
With renting now half as affordable as buying a home in the US, it...  Read»
Iran Is Using The Same Dangerously Effective Strategy In Iraq As It Used In Syria
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Oracle Has Acquired Datalogix
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The Most Jaw-Dropping Science Pictures Of 2014
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See Also
The Pentagon Will Deploy Up to 1,300 More Troops to Iraq In Late January
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The Pentagon has announced that up to 1,300 US troops would be sent to...
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