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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

In Focus Today: Consumer Confidence

This morning, the Conference Board is set to release its data on consumer confidence for the month of December. By all accounts from retailers so far, we know that consumers are not in the usual spending mood, even if it is the holiday season. That data will be out at 10 a.m. and economists are expecting a slight boost over November.

So far this morning, global stocks moved higher in Japan, where the Nikkei closed up 1.28 percent today, but recorded a 42 percent drop for the year in its last day of trading until 2009. With only two trading days left in 2008, the U.S. indices -- with very light trading at that -- are looking to post record losses for the year as well.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed today down 0.65 percent and the Shanghai composite was down 0.95 percent. In Europe, the markets are up a bit. The DJ Stoxx index is up 1 percent, led by Germany's DAX, which is up 1.6 percent.

In the coming days, the Bernard Madoff scandal will become the focus again. There is a big court date tomorrow in New York in the $50 billion scandal case and on Monday, the Associated Press reports that Congress will hold its first hearing on the alleged Ponzi scheme, looking into how the Securities and Exchange Commission missed its opportunities to pick up on the scandal earlier. Rep. Paul Kanjorski's (D-Pa.) House capital markets subcommittee will preside over that.

Check back here for live updates later today.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  December 30, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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