As well as monitoring developments in the U.S. over the coming days, investors will be keeping a close watch on what's going on in Italy ahead of a general election in February. Over the weekend, outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti indicated that he would be willing to return to the role if proreform parties back him. Monti has won praise for his economic reforms and efforts to get a grip on the country's borrowing. Italy has the second-highest debt burden among the 17 EU countries that use the euro. Only Greece's is higher. Meanwhile, Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., said in a report that China's apparent oil demand rose 9.1% in November from a year earlier to 42.96 million metric tons, an average of 10.5 million barrels per day, the highest on record. ___ Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pamelasampson ___ AP researcher Fu Ting contributed from Shanghai.