New unemployment claims dropped by another 10,000 last week to 316,000, approaching pre Bush Crash numbers. California accounted for almost half of the decline suggesting that Conservative claims that the 7th largest economy in the world is in rapid decline since the Democrats took complete control of the state's government might be 'overstated'.
Wall Street banks are throwing a fit because the Federal Reserve is considering the elimination of the 0.25% interest that they have been paying banks on cash reserves that banks keep on deposit with the Fed. It doesn't sound like much except that these reserves total $2.4t. They only started doing this as part of the bank bailout and Wall Street has become accustomed to this $60b subsidy, it's almost half of their annual bonus pay. Banks didn't used to keep much cash on deposit but were encouraged to start doing this in case of further losses from the Bush crash. The Fed thinks that with the economy actually working again that maybe banks should start making loans with this money instead.
The possibility of peace with Iran has been putting further downward pressure on oil prices despite the Obama Administration's assurances that Iran wouldn't be allowed to pump more oil and natural gas any time soon.
The 21st century's Super Power, The People's Republic of China has laid claim to most of the South China Sea and has now created an new Air Defense Zone over what used to be a big chunk of international waters bordered by China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. This area happens to be rich in untapped petroleum reserves. China has a similar dispute going with the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam over oil reserves in formally international waters further south.