TODAY'S TOP STORIES

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wallstreet-112414_19Dec14.jpg Trading in the U.S. index futures suggests that Wall Street stocks may open Friday's session higher, although the optimism has waned. The strong gains in the recent couple of sessions may deter traders from building up positions further. European stocks have turned lower after some early strength.

GermanGFK-121914.jpg German consumer confidence is set to improve to an eight-year high at the start of the year on strong gains in economic expectations and willingness-to-buy as the current economic weakness is expected to be temporary, the market research group GfK said Friday. The forward-looking consumer confidence index climbed to 9 for January, the highest since December 2006, from 8.7 in December.

Nike-121914.jpg Here is a list of interesting stocks to watch on December 19. The good news is you can skip this step. There is a next move that can make your life a lot easier. Our research team has already done the groundwork for you. All these stocks listed below and many more have been researched already, and...

Ovascience-121914.jpg Shares of OvaScience Inc. (OVAS) have had a strong run in 2014, rising over 370 percent year-to-date. And that's indeed a very impressive return delivered by the fertility treatment company, which suffered a setback last year when it had to suspend a U.S. trial of its flagship fertility treatment due to regulatory concerns raised by the FDA.

stock-up_18Dec14.jpg European stocks are seen opening notably higher on Friday following the biggest two-day surge in U.S. stocks since late 2011 on Wall Street overnight. Commodities steadied after recent plunge and the dollar inched higher against the safe-haven Japanese yen in the wake of the Fed's pledge for patience...

redhat-121814.jpg Linux software maker Red Hat reported a lower third-quarter profit despite a 15 percent increase in revenues, hurt by stock-based compensation expense and other costs. Nevertheless, both earnings and revenue for the quarter topped Wall Street estimates. Red Hat said its strategic tie-up with customers has a healthy impact on the size of deals, and its stock rallied 11% in after-hours trade.

nikeinc-121814.jpg Nike Inc., the world's largest athletic shoes and apparel maker, said Thursday after the markets closed that its second quarter profit rose 23% from last year, helped by higher revenue and improved gross margin. The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue.

wallstreet-112414_18Dec14.jpg Stocks showed a substantial upward move during trading on Thursday, adding to the strong gains posted in the previous session. With the extended rally, the major averages further offset the sell-off that was seen in the preceding sessions.

Oil-121814_18Dec14.jpg U.S. crude oil plunged to end over 4 percent lower on Thursday, on renewed worries over the oversupply situation amid demand growth concerns, even as U.S. stockpiles declined albeit less than expected last week. Earlier today, crude prices moved higher, lifted by short-covering and an upbeat jobs...

whitehouse-121814.jpg Calling the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment a national security matter, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday the administration is currently weighing options for responding to the cyber-attack.

gold-112014_18Dec14.jpg Gold futures pared much of the gains but still ended higher on Thursday, tracking rising global equity markets, even as the dollar trended higher after some upbeat jobs data from the U.S. showed initial claims for unemployment benefits to have declined more than expected. Gold prices found some support...

rubio-121814.jpg Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been one of the harshest critics of President Barack Obama's plan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and continued to bash the president in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

AerLingus-IAG-121814.jpg Irish airline Aer Lingus said it has rejected a takeover offer from British Airways parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, as the offer undervalues the company.

generalmotors-121814.jpg General Motors said it has halted the delivery of cars to dealerships in Russia as it strives to overcome the business risks stemming from the collapse of the ruble.

amazon-121814.jpg Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) on Thursday launched a new superfast service in select areas of Manhattan to deliver tens of thousands of daily essentials such as paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries within an hour. The service, dubbed Prime Now, is available for Amazon's Prime...