Stock indices had been relatively quiet overnight digesting the declines of the last three days. In the last hour trading activity has increased once again in the wake of three US events which have kicked off another round of December tapering speculation. Jobless claims fell back under 300K. Except for one week in September, claims are at their lowest level since early 2006, another sign of an improving job market. US Q3 GDP was revised upward to 3.6%, way above the previous estimate, a sign that the UK isn’t the only economy that kicked up into another gear this summer. Atlanta Fed President Lockart (a non-voter this year) suggested that tapering QE should be on the table at the December FOMC meeting. The combined effect of these three developments has sent US indices and gold into another tailspin, while sparking rallies for USD and crude oil. Improving attitudes toward the global economy has sent resource dollars to the top of the charts with CAD and AUD leading the rebound. In Europe today, indices had been trading flat to higher but have started to fall off in the last few minutes. The Bank of England and ECB finished off the year holding the course on monetary policy. ECB President Draghi in his press conference defended last month’s interest rate cut but did not indicate any plans for additional or unconventional measures as some had speculated. The UK government meanwhile raised its GDP growth forecasts for this year and next adding to the case that the Bank of England may need to ease back on stimulus sooner than has been thought. It also cut its forecasts for public sector borrowing over the next five years to reflect an improving economy. Corporate News Facebook Was NOT added to the S&P 500 yesterday as had been speculated, General Growth Properties was added instead. Perhaps another time… Apple did NOT enter into a deal with China Mobile to make iPhones available to its 700 million (wow) subscribers as had been rumored overnight, but apparently China Mobile did indicate that negotiations are underway CIBC $2.22 vs street $2.15 Royal Bank of Canada $1.40 vs street $1.39, Dave McKay to take over as President and CEO in August 2014 from retiring Gordon Nixon TD Bank $1.90 vs street $1.99, 2 for 1 stock split, paltry 1.2% dividend increase Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: US jobless claims 298K vs street 321K US GDP 3.6% vs street 3.0% vs previous 2.8% US Core PCE inflation 1.5% vs street 1.4% US Challenger layoffs 45K similar to previous month Norway interest rate 1.50% no change as expected UK interest rate and QE 0.50% and £375B no change as expected ECB interest and deposit rate 0.25% and 0.00% no change as expected UK OBR GDP forecast 2013 raised to 1.4% from 0.6% 2014 raised to 2.4% from 1.8% 2015 lowered to 2.2% from 2 3% Economic reports due later today include: 10:00 am EST Canada PMI street 59.5 vs previous 62.8 10:00 am EST US factory orders street (1.0%) 10:30 am EST US natural gas storage street (145 BCF)