Morning Business Memo

The bond market is a barometer of confidence. When interest rates fall this means investors have more confidence they will be fully repaid. Spain's auction today of short-term government debt went well. The amount of debt sold was more than expected, and rates were lower than a similar auction fourweeks ago. Spain sold $6.51 billion of 12- and 18-month paper. Europe's debt problems are far from over but this was the first test of investor sentiment since last week's agreement by Eurozone leaders. US Stock futures turned higher after Spain's bond sale. European averages are up. The Dow closed down more than 1 per cent yesterday.

You're probably paying more for electricity. A USA Today analysis says households paid an average of $1,419 for electricity last year - the 5th straight annual rise above the inflation rate. The increase added about $300 a year to what households pay.  Electricity is taking a bigger share of American's after tax income than at any time since 1996.

The Justice Department says Medtronic has agreed to pay over $23 million to settle allegations it paid kickbacks to doctors to implant pacemakers and defibrillators. Medtronic is the world's largest maker of medical devices…. The government alleged Medtronic caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid.

The Commerce Department will release November retail sales figures today, which is expected to show a rise of  0.6 percent.  If the survey is that strong, look for more economists to make upward revisions to their fourth quarter growth estimates. The Wall Street Journal's Conor Dougherty writes: "In recent days, a number of economists have increased estimates for fourth-quarter growth, pointing to stronger-than-expected readings on trade, consumer spending and other gauges."

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio  Skype: abcnrny

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...