Investors yesterday negotiated worries over the fiscal cliff with stronger November sales at McDonald's (MCD). While Mickey D’s shares rallied a full percent, the wider Dow Jones Industrial Average saw no super-sized gains. The blue-chip average rose a marginal 15 points and traded in a tight range of just 56 points Monday.
Futures Tuesday morning are signaling a higher open, with another day of modest moves expected. Investors will be eyeing any developments in negotiations regarding tax hikes and spending cuts on tap for next year, as well as the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which wraps up Wednesday.
British giant HSBC has agreed to pay a record fine of $1.9 billion to settle a multi-year investigation into how it ignored red flags of money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels and allowed transfers of billions of dollars from nations like Iran and the Sudan, which are under U.S. sanctions.
Just yesterday, fellow British bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay a much smaller amount -- $340 million -- to settle similar charges. Since 2009, the list of “bad banks” has expanded -- Credit Suisse (CS), Barclays (BCS), Lloyd’s, and ING all paid money to settle charges that they moved money for nations on the U.S. sanctions list.
An analyst at Morgan Stanley says the average American household spent $444 on Apple (AAPL) products last year. Katy Huberty notes the figure is up from $150 in 2007 and $295 in 2010. Huberty adds that if Apple rolls out an HDTV, the figure will double by 2015.
Apple shares are up 30% this year, but down a whopping 20% over the past three months.