US traders return from the Thanksgiving holiday for a shortened Black Friday session in a good mood with indices set to pick up in rally mode where they left off on Wednesday. Anecdotal reports from overnight suggest that Americans have been in the mood for spending, particularly on electronics. Apparently Apple’s iPad Air and the new game consoles have been popular with shoppers. Retail stocks could attract attention today on sales reports including Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s and others. European markets are on the rise today on more signs that the debt crisis of the last few years continues to subside. S&P’s change to Spain’s credit outlook has attracted particular attention as it suggests that country may yet avoid a cut to junk status. This sparked rallies in both the IBEX and Italy’s MIB. The upgrade to Cyprus, continued LTRO repayments of around €7 billion this week and Ireland’s planned exit from bailout next month suggest that the situation has at least stabilized and may be slowly starting to turn the corner. This news plus generally better than expected data from the continent has kept European currencies on their front foot with EUR, SEK, CHF and GBP all gaining on the day. The news suggests the ECB may be under less pressure to take additional action at its December meeting. Higher than expected house price gains has stoked speculation that the BoE may take additional steps to cool the UK housing market following Governor Carney’s statements and actions yesterday. USD has been relatively weak today sparking some interest in gold and silver but they remain short of the levels they need to clear to call off their broader downtrends. Crude oil has also been bouncing back today. USDCAD has leveled off with sentiment toward the loonie improving on the back of better than expected Canadian GDP. Overall, it appears that November is set to go out on a positive note, setting the stage for next week where PMI and employment reports could rekindle speculation over whether or not the Fed is ready to begin tapering QE at its December meeting. Economic News Significant economic announcements released yesterday afternoon and overnight include: S&P raised its outlook on Spain’s credit rating to stable from negative maintaining it at BBB-. The agency attributed the change to Spain’s improving economy. The move reduces the risk of a cut to junk status. S&P downgraded the Netherlands to AA+ from AAA with a stable outlook, blaming a weaker growth outlook. S&P upgraded Cyprus to B- from CCC+ noting repayment risks receding. Canada Q3 GDP 2.7% vs street 2.5% vs previous 1.7% Canada Sept GDP 2.3% vs street 2.1% Japan manuf PMI 55.1 vs previous 54.2 Japan household spending 0.9% vs street 1.0% Japan unemployment rate 4.0% vs street 3.9% Japan consumer prices 1.1% as expected Japan industrial production 4.7% vs street 6.3% Japan vehicle production 10.1% vs previous 13.0% Japan housing starts 7.1% vs street 5.2% UK nationwide house prices 6.5% vs street 6.2% UK mortgage approvals 67K vs street 68K Greece retail sales (6.4%) vs previous (8.9%) Germany retail sales (0.2%) vs street 1.4% Italy unemployment rate 12.5% as expected Italy consumer prices 0.6% vs street 0.8% Eurozone unemployment rate 12.1% vs street 12.2% Eurozone consumer prices 0.9% vs street 0.8% India GDP 4.8% vs street 4.6% vs previous 4.4% Economic reports due later today include: 12:00 pm AEST Sat China manufacturing PMI street 51.1