U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at records, as jobless claims unexpectedly fell and measures of consumer confidence beat estimates. Treasuries dropped while crude oil tumbled as a report showed U.S. supplies climbed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to a national minimum wage and to increased spending on pensions and infrastructure while holding firm to her refusal to raise taxes in a coalition accord with the Social Democrats.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies warned the Social Democrats to reel in their spending demands, citing “difficult days” ahead as they aim to complete talks to form a German government by the middle of next week.
On Jan. 1, Latvia will adopt the euro, and its lats currency will be no more. Farewell to the bearded Krisjanis Barons, the collector of folk songs who graces the 100-latu note. The Baltic nation is shucking a piece of its heritage because its leaders predict joining Europe’s common currency zone will lead to more trade and prosperity.
Disagreement over policy and financing is forcing German negotiators to delay key decisions on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s third-term government to next week, prompting party officials to raise the prospect of fresh elections.