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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. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Bloomberg</a>]

Santa may still be alive and kicking, at least in rally form. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">MarketWatch</a>]

Austerity happens: Italian retailers had the worst Christmas sales in a decade. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Bloomberg</a>]

China and Japan announce an agreement that adds renminbi-denominated debt to Japan's reserves. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">FT</a>]

The SEC is using computers to analyze hedge fund performance to identify rogue firms. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">WSJ</a>]

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. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">CNN Money</a>]

Google (GOOG - Get Report) is angering its rivals by using its search power to promote its own online travel services. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">WSJ</a>]

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. [<a href=";Type=aTOD" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Focus Taiwan</a>]


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. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Bloomberg</a>]

What Recovery, Part II: Chinese stocks are at a 33-month low. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">MarketWatch</a>]

Investment Strategy

10 favorite stocks set up nicely for 2012. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Leigh Drogen</a>]

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) flashes a golden cross, and you can probably afford a share now! [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Trade With Pete</a>]

Odds and Ends

Hacker group Anonymous strikes again, this time attacking think tank Stratfor's Web site. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">Reuters</a>]

$41 billion in gift cards have gone unspent from 2005 until now. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">WSJ</a>]

I was gifted the complete The Smiths boxed set for Christmas. It's awesome. Here's one of my favorite songs by the band. [<a href="" target="blank" rel="nofollow">YouTube</a>]

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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

>To follow Robert Holmes on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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