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Stocks steady; Bitcoin bounces; Oil at $60

1. Steady stocks: Investors have bid up U.S. stock markets to record highs this month but it doesn't...

Posted: Dec. 27, 2017 12:23 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2017 12:23 PM

1. Steady stocks: Investors have bid up U.S. stock markets to record highs this month but it doesn't look like they're going to move much further on Wednesday.

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U.S. stock futures are holding steady. The Dow Jones industrial average is about 100 points away from an all-time high.

European markets are mixed in early trading.

Most Asian markets ended the day with gains, though the key stock indexes in mainland China dipped a bit.

2. Crude watch: Traders are keeping their eyes on oil after crude prices rallied to $60 a barrel on Tuesday for the first time in two and a half years.

Prices spiked after a pipeline exploded in Libya.

Crude futures are down a tad in early morning trading, just below the $60 level.

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3. Top shipbuilder sinks: Hyundai Heavy Industries, parent company of the world's largest shipbuilder, saw its stock price plummet around 29% on Wednesday, after announcing a plan to sell shares worth 1.3 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in an effort to raise money for its operations.

The outlook for the firm is not great: The company forecast sales would slump in 2017 to 15.4 trillion won ($14.3 billion), down by more than 50% from 2016. It also expects sales to keep falling in 2018.

4. Bouncing Bitcoin: Bitcoin prices remain volatile Wednesday, with the price of a single coin rallying to nearly $16,500 overnight and then quickly dropping again below the $16,000 level.

The price nearly hit $20,000 per coin last weekend before slumping to around $12,000.

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5. Coming this week:

Wednesday -- Conference Board releases U.S. consumer confidence report for December at 10 a.m. ET
Thursday
-- Weekly U.S. crude inventories report out at 11 a.m.
Friday
-- Russia reports latest quarterly GDP

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