Global Recovery: Taking The Pulse Of The Bourses

If stock markets are one of the more reliable leading indicators of economic activity, the near-term chances of an upswing in the global economy may be fading a bit. Morgan Stanley & Co. reports that 18 of the 22 developed stock markets that it monitors registered declines in November in both local currency and dollar terms. European stocks as a whole fell 2.3% in dollar terms, and Japan's market plunged 16.6%, compared with a 0.9% dip in the U.S.