Stocks: 5 things to know before the bell
1. And we’re back: Investors are returning from the holiday break to a full day of trading in the United States.
U.S. stock futures were flat, and trading volumes are expected to be thin.
A smattering of Asia markets were back in business, but trading was muted. Most European markets will reopen on Wednesday.
Investors and traders may still be in holiday mode, but shoppers will be out in force on Tuesday.
U.S. retailers are offering steep discounts in after-Christmas sales — both in store and online. Meanwhile, Boxing Day discounts are taking center stage in Europe and Canada too.
Elsewhere in markets: Natural gas prices rallied by 3% in New York after taking a sharp fall over the past month. And bitcoin has popped back above $ 15,000 as the digital currency continues its recovery.
2. Friday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all dipped by 0.1% on Friday, edging away from record highs set earlier in the month.
Still, it’s been a merry year in the markets, with the Dow up an impressive 25%. The S&P 500 has zoomed up 20% this year and the Nasdaq has left both behind, with a surge of nearly 30%.
3. Debt troubles: China’s government is demanding a tech tycoon come home and face the music.
The country’s markets watchdog on Monday night ordered LeEco founder Jia Yueting to return to the country before the end of the year in order to fix his flailing business empire’s financial woes.
Once dubbed the Netflix (NFLX) of China, LeEco expanded into a head-spinning array of industries, ranging from movies to smartphones and transportation before unchecked debt grounded its ambitions.
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4. Economics: The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index for October will be released at 9 a.m. ET. This monthly data gives traders a sense about how the U.S. housing market is performing.
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5. Coming this week:
Tuesday — Boxing Day
Wednesday — Conference Board releases U.S. consumer confidence report for December
Thursday — Weekly U.S. crude inventories report out at 11 a.m. ET
Friday — Russia reports latest quarterly GDP