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International stocks mostly lower...Retail sales, business inventories, PPI due...Delay in climate talks wrap

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HONG KONG (AP) — Japanese stocks rose as the yen weakened but other benchmarks in Asia and Europe fell as investors hunkered down ahead of the Fed's key meeting next week on interest rates. Futures point to opening gains on Wall Street today. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell further, sitting at just above $36.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and fell against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) —There are three major government economic reports due out today. The Commerce Department will release a report on retail sales data for November and another on October's business inventories. Also, the Labor Department will release the Producer Price Index for November.

PARIS (AP) — Analysts say a delay in the Paris climate talks is not necessarily a bad sign. They said it is not surprising, given that international negotiators are trying for an accord that will change the global economy over the long term. Economist and climate expert Lord Nicholas Stern said an accord cutting carbon emissions over the long term is important for the business world, and so it is important to get broad agreement.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers and the White House are rushing to finalize a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill and a sprawling tax package touching all sectors of the economy, then head home for the holidays. Dozens of issues remain unresolved, mainly policy disputes over environmental and other issues that lawmakers of both parties are trying to attach to the must-pass spending legislation. One or more short stopgap measures may be necessary.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung's hopes of ending years of acrimony over whether its computer chip factories caused cancer have hit a hitch: some sickened workers and their families say they'll never accept its highly conditional offer of financial assistance. An ugly rift has opened between Samsung and the main advocacy group for sick workers, Banolim. At issue is Samsung's rejection of the mediator's recommendations that an independent organization be established to oversee compensation and monitor safety and preventive measures at its factories.

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