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5 Things You Need to Know Before the Stock Market Opens

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The final trading day of 2011, which will decide whether the S&P 500 ends the year up or down, leads your quick fix of company, market, economic and investing news for Friday, Dec. 30.

Friday's 5 Biggest Stories

Stock futures are fluctuating. Where will the S&P 500 end the year? Place your bets now. Bloomberg

Raise your hand if you expected the IMF to tell Greece that a 50% haircut on its bonds wouldn't be enough. WSJ

It's a good thing former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report) CEO Mark Hurd says it's riddled with inaccuracies, because Gloria Allred's letter detailing his alleged sexual harassment makes him look pretty bad. Thomson Reuters

China's manufacturing activity contracted again in December. Is another reserve ratio cut not far behind? Bloomberg

After a very ugly public mess, TCW and Jeff Gundlach's DoubleLine Capital settle their beef privately. DealBook

Company News

Only a few more days until the NYSE says "so long" to shares of bankrupt AMR Corp. (AMR). WSJ

No surprise here: Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) is on pace to be the worst performing Dow stock of the year. Bloomberg

After detailing some its store closures, Sears Holdings (SHLD - Get Report) has its debt cut further into junk status territory by Fitch Ratings. CBS


Complacency is haunting the bond market. Global Macro Monitor

Money market funds are seeing their biggest inflows despite zero yields. FT

Investment Strategy

Hedge funds fudging their quarterly return numbers? That doesn't sound like them at all. WSJ

Something's gotta give in 2012, but what will it be? MarketWatch

Odds and Ends

You have to love it when author Michael Lewis playfully skewers his alma mater, although this time it's not Goldman! Bloomberg

Happy New Year! Here's hoping for a happy and healthy 2012 to you and yours. Here's the only New Year's-related video I could think of, courtesy of U2. YouTube

-- 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

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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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