U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday in the wake of eight straight weeks of gains after mixed data on China and the euro zone and ahead of U.S. economic reports which could provide some clues on the strength of the recovery. Final data for China's HSBC/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index showed factory activity maintained steady growth momentum in November, boosted by resilient new orders, though the pace of expansion eased slightly from October. In the euro zone, buoyant demand for manufactured goods drove factory activity to accelerate at its fastest pace in over two years last month. But growth was still weak, and Markit said evidence of a renewed downturn in France and Spain - as well as firms cutting staff - was disappointing. Markit analyst Brenda Kelly says to keep an eye on Greece
For the second time this year, RBS and its retail banking unit Netwest's online systems and debit cards failed on Monday evening as customers were unable to process payments on one of the busiest online shopping days called the "Cyber Monday". Millions of customers across the United Kingdom were unable to withdraw cash, pay for goods or use telephone and online banking services. The bank's Irish unit, Ulster Bank, also reportedly faced similar glitches.
Bank of America says it has settled all claims with Freddie Mac, arising from residential mortgages sold to the government-backed housing agency through the end of 2009. BofA will pay $404 million to settle claims related to loans sold to Freddie Mac from January 1st, 2000 to December 31st, 2009, and to compensate for certain past losses and potential future losses relating to denials, rescissions and cancellations of mortgage insurance. The payments are fully covered by the company's reserves, BofA said in a statement on Monday.