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Alcoa (NYSE:AA) released its fourth-quarter earnings after the bell today. EPS (excluding special items) of $0.06 was just 1 cent shy of expectations, while revenue of $5.9 billion came in ahead of expectations for a 5.8 percent drop. With so much attention paid to the first major earnings release of the season, these results could largely be priced in to today’s closing price of $9.10.
1) Euro-zone unemployment grew 0.1 points in November to a new all-time high of 11.8 percent. This was led by Spain, which hit a new high of 26.6 percent unemployment, and Greece, at 20 percent unemployment for the month. Austria had the lowest reading for November at just 4.5 percent. Germany, one of Europe’s largest economies, registered 5.4 percent unemployment.
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2) There are 3 things keeping the World Economic Forum up at night, and those are debts, wealth disparities, and the degrading environment. While those three items certainly don’t exhaust the list of major concerns for the globe, they are the highest ranked concerns facing the world in the eyes of the WEF constituency. Political and industry leaders from around the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss the shape of world today and look at the future… (Read more.)
3) Although the fiscal cliff soap opera was pushed aside for a New York minute, the debt ceiling issue in Washington still has plenty of airtime.The U.S. started the new year by hitting its record debt ceiling of $16.394 trillion. In the final days of 2012, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to Congress warning of the inevitable event and said the Treasury Department will take “extraordinary measures” to provide approximately $200 billion in headroom. The tricks were first estimated to give the bobble-heads in Washington about two months of wiggle room, but new calculations show less time… (Read more.)
At the close: DJIA: -0.41%, S&P 500: -0.43%, Nasdaq: -0.23%.
On the commodities front, Oil climbed fractionally to $93.26 per barrel. Gold was also up, climbing 0.73 percent to $1,658.40 per ounce. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields fell to 1.866 percent.
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