“U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday as upbeat economic data from China indicated a slowdown in the country may be easing, though concerns remained about the growth outlook in the United States and Europe,” Ryan Vlastelica reports for Reuters. “The S&P 500 fell 2.4 percent last week, the worst week for the index since June, closing below its 200-day moving average for the first time in five months. That level is a measure of the market’s long-term trend, and staying below it could portend further losses ahead.”

“Those losses were partly propelled by concerns over the fiscal cliff, a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases set to go into effect early next year unless Congress acts to change the law before then. Though most consider it unlikely that no deal will be reached, analysts fear going over the cliff could push the economy back into recession,” Vlastelica reports. “‘If the cliff were to occur, it would be very devastating for the economy, which is why it is hard to think that last week was much of an over reaction,’ said Oliver Purshe, president at Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York, adding that the odds of going over were ‘very low.'”

Vlastelica reports, “Apple Inc. rose 0.9 percent to $551.90 in premarket trading after the company announced a global patent settlement with HTC Corp, as well as a 10-year licensing agreement. The settlement ends one of the first major conflagrations of the smartphone patent wars. Apple shares have been under pressure recently, dropping into bear market territory.”

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