1. S&P 500 set for best year since 2013 (but possibly 1997)
Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, on Dec. 13, 2019.
Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were under some pressure on the final day of 2019 and the decade. The S&P 500 is tracking for its best year since 2013, with a 28.5% gain for 2019 as of Monday’s close on Wall Street. If the index were to rise about 1% on Tuesday, and cross the 3,253 level, this year would pass 2013 and become the best year since 1997. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq are all near record highs despite Monday’s decline. For the decade, the S&P 500 is up 189%, the Dow is up 173% and the Nasdaq is up 294%. On Tuesday’s economic calendar, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index for October and the Conference Board’s December consumer confidence index are out at 9 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET, respectively.
2. China manufacturing expands for second straight month
Employees work on the production line of a television factory under Zhaochi Group in Shenzhen, China August 8, 2019.
Jason Lee | Reuters
China’s official purchasing managers’ index came in slightly above expectations at 50.2 in December. Even though December was the second straight month of expansion for the official manufacturing PMI, economists from Nomura cautioned that the trend may not be sustainable. The data came as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, that nation’s top trade negotiator, is set to visit Washington this week to sign the “phase one” trade deal with the U.S., the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
3. Trump: Iran will be held ‘fully responsible’ for attack on US embassy in Iraq
President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Iran for planning an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. “Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible.”
The president’s tweet came after dozens of angry Iraqi Shiite militia stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad and set fire to a reception area on the grounds earlier in the day. The embassy attack followed deadly U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq.
4. Biden says he would consider a Republican running mate
Democratic Presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign stop at the RiverCenter on October 16, 2019 in Davenport, Iowa.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, said he would consider choosing a Republican running mate if he were to be chosen as his party’s nominee next year. However, even as he raised the possibility of a GOP veep while speaking to a crowd in Exeter, New Hampshire, Biden said Monday, “But I can’t think of one right now.” On the campaign trail, Biden has regularly spoken about the need to work with Republicans in Congress should he prevail in the November 2020 general election.
5. Tencent consortium to buy up to 20% of Universal Music
Singer Taylor Swift performs on the stage during the gala of 2019 Alibaba 11.11 Global Shopping Festival at Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 10, 2019 in Shanghai, China.
VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images
A consortium led by China’s Tencent Music agreed to buy up to 20% of Vivendi’s Universal Music in a deal that values the world’s largest music label at $34 billion. Universal Music counts The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga among its artists. The agreement will allow both companies to expand in a recovering global music market. Tencent is getting more access to U.S. artists while Universal can tap into the Asian market, which features big-selling “K-Pop” Korean pop stars.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.