JAPAN DATA: Government data showed Asia's second-largest economy expanded at an annualized 2.5 percent in the third quarter. That's an improvement on an earlier estimate, reflecting stronger than expected business investment and rising inventories. Relatively firm wage figures also released Friday were further signs the economy is gaining momentum.
CHINA TRADE: China reported strong growth in both exports and imports in November in a reassuring sign for the world's second-biggest economy. Figures posted Friday on the customs department website show exports expanded 12.3 percent to $217.3 billion in November over the previous month, nearly double the 6.9 percent pace recorded in October.
QUOTEWORTHY: "The upshot is that Chinese trade looks to have been surprisingly strong last month. We expect exports to continue to perform well in the coming months on the back of strong global demand," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
U.S. SHUTDOWN: Congress passed a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown over the weekend. The move keeps the government running until Dec. 22, buying more time for unfinished talks on a range of issues and averting market risks for investors for the day.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks perked higher following a weeklong lull. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 2,636.98, the Dow Jones industrials average rose 0.3 percent to 24,211.48 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.5 percent to 6,812.84
ENERGY: Oil futures retreated. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 2 cents to $56.67 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 73 cents to settle at $56.69 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 1 cent to $62.19 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.40 Japanese yen from 113.10 yen late Thursday. The euro dipped to $1.758 from $1.1774.