Stocks edge lower: Wall Street remains a confused place as investors weigh Europe, the fiscal cliff, and the U.S. economy. Dow is down about 50 points.
Another jump in L.A. home prices: Case-Shiller Index reports a 1 percent increase from August to September and a 4 percent increase from a year earlier. (press release)
Strong Cyber Monday: Online sales were up almost 26 percent compared with a year ago, according to preliminary estimates. Amazon and eBay did especially well. (Reuters)
Consumer confidence hits 4-year high: Conference Board Index reached 73.7 in November, which is another indication that U.S. households have kept spending. (Bloomberg)
Global outlook slashed: More worries about a recession if the European debt crisis and the fiscal cliff impasse aren't resolved. From the NYT:
The Paris-based [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] predicted that gross domestic product in its 34 member nations, all developed economies, would expand by 1.4 percent in 2013, a significant downward revision from its forecast of 2.2 percent made just six months ago. That assumes that the United States agrees on a budget deal in January, averting billions of dollars in tax increases and automatic spending cuts.
U.S. bars Intrade bettors: Federal regulators have sued the online trading market for offering contracts outside traditional exchanges and without government approval. From DealBook:
The company's business model in the United States is on murky legal ground. Some states explicitly outlaw gambling on elections. The trading commission this year also rejected the North American Derivatives Exchange's plans to offer an election contract. In the complaint on Monday, the agency skirted the larger question of whether investors could legitimately bet on elections. Instead, it cited Intrade for allowing American customers to trade off-exchange contracts. From late 2007 through mid-2012, according to the agency, Intrade "unlawfully solicited and permitted U.S. customers to buy and sell" futures contracts.
Gas update: Average price of regular in the L.A. area is $3.801, according to the Auto Club, which is about 90 cents cheaper than the all-time high in early October.