Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.
After rising for three straight weeks, stocks are set to move higher at Monday’s open. Earnings start slow this week, with Sotheby’s (BID) reporting this morning, although many investors and political pundits will be looking toward China. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit started in Beijing yesterday. Leaders of China and Japan — the world’s second- and third-largest economies — met for the first time in the capital city Monday in a move to warm their historically frigid relationship. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry arrive in Beijing today.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Wall Street’s disappointment
Year-end bonuses represent a significant percentage of pay for workers on Wall Street, and it looks like this year’s showing may leave many wanting more, according to an industry survey. Annual payouts could drop as much as 10% for trading desk and hedge fund employees. Investment bankers and private equity workers — essentially, those riding this year’s big M&A wave — will be the few to celebrate higher year-end checks. Their bonuses are expected to rise 10% to 15%.
2. Chinese officials loosen their grip on the Shanghai stock exchange
The Shanghai Stock Exchange will connect with its counterpart in Hong Kong, allowing global investors to trade across the border for the first time. Chinese officials approved the connection Monday, and it will go into effect next week. The partnership is a key milestone in the capital market liberalization in China.
3. Are diners still craving McDonald’s Big Macs?
McDonald’s (MCD) reported its monthly sales numbers for October this morning. Sales decreased 0.5% worldwide for the month, better than the average analyst estimate of a 2.2% decline. The burger chain has struggled to keep pace with industry changes as diners, particularly millennials, opt for fast casual options, such as Chipotle, over fast-food chains. McDonald’s is trying to stem the slowdown in sales, which have been plaguing the restaurant for months. It saw a significant low in August when monthly sales posted their worst decline in more than a decade.
4. Banks better start saving again.
The Financial Stability Board proposed new rules today that would require “too big to fail” banks, such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, to keep a lot more capital in their coffers. The new rules, which would take effect in 2019 at the earliest, double the amount of money large banks would be required to hold in order to absorb losses and prevent financial trouble from rippling through the economy. The intention is to shift the burden of bank failures onto the banks and their investors.
5. New HealthCare.gov website is live.
The new Obamacare online exchange is ready as officials prepare for the second round of annual enrollments that formally start Saturday. Officials say it is a better experience compared with the site that frustrated millions of consumers last fall. People will be able to sort options by premium costs and the deductible size this year, as well as “window shop” by perusing the options without having to create an account.
Nearly 7.3 million people have purchased insurance plans through the federal and state exchanges to date. Many will be automatically re-enrolled in the same or similar health plans.