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5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A look at the return on equities this year and the potential for a continuation of the Santa Claus rally leads your quick fix of company, market, economic and investing news for Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Tuesday's 5 Biggest Stories

Despite the massive volatility and swings in stocks, the S&P 500 is set to have the smallest price change in more than four decades. Bloomberg

Santa may still be alive and kicking, at least in rally form. MarketWatch

Austerity happens: Italian retailers had the worst Christmas sales in a decade. Bloomberg

China and Japan announce an agreement that adds renminbi-denominated debt to Japan's reserves. FT

The SEC is using computers to analyze hedge fund performance to identify rogue firms. WSJ

Company News

What Recovery, Part I: Sears Holdings (SHLD - Get Report) will close 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores due to a drop in sales. CNN Money

Google (GOOG) is angering its rivals by using its search power to promote its own online travel services. WSJ

Did you get an iPad 2 for Christmas? Sucker. Apple (AAPL - Get Report) is reportedly set to launch the iPad 3 for Steve Jobs' birthday in February. Focus Taiwan


Obama is having a nice holiday. First, the House Republicans cave on the payroll tax cuts, and then he finds out this year saw the most demand for U.S. debt since 1995. Bloomberg

What Recovery, Part II: Chinese stocks are at a 33-month low. MarketWatch

Investment Strategy

10 favorite stocks set up nicely for 2012. Leigh Drogen

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) flashes a golden cross, and you can probably afford a share now! Trade With Pete

Odds and Ends

Hacker group Anonymous strikes again, this time attacking think tank Stratfor's Web site. Reuters

$41 billion in gift cards have gone unspent from 2005 until now. WSJ

I was gifted the complete The Smiths boxed set for Christmas. It's awesome. Here's one of my favorite songs by the band. YouTube

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Holmes.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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