Asian markets traded moderately higher on Monday. Korean heavyweight Samsung Electronics jumped 2.2% on an analyst upgrade, but the move had little impact on the broader Kospi, which inched up 1 point to 1981.80. The ASX 200 rose .3% to 4325.20, ahead of a 2-day holiday, as shares in Myer department stores climbed 1%, lifted by strong holiday sales expectations. Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.
In Europe, the FTSE rose .2% in an abbreviated traded session, while markets were closed in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. UK-based ITV shares rose .6% after announcing a deal to buy US-based Gurney Productions. Volumes were extremely light.
US stocks traded lower, as the Dow dropped 52 points to 13139, and the S&P 500 shed .2% to 1426.66.
Facebook shares rallied 2.6% to 26.93 after analysts at Needham lifted the price target on the stock to $33 from $25.
Reports of disappointing Windows 8 sales sent Microsoft shares down 1.4%.
The yen dropped by .8% to 84.87, touching its lowest level since April 2011. The euro erased early gains to rise a mere 7 pips to 1.3191, and the Australian dollar fell .4% to 1.0366.
All US markets will be closed on Tuesday for Christmas.
European markets will be closed for 2 days, and will resume trading on Thursday.