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It's the Economy

CNBC's Patti Domm notes that the Dow finished November 121 points shy of the record it set November 17.  Up 14% for the year, the Dow scored a 1.2% gain for the month, its fifth monthly advance in a row but its worst performance since July.

The Washington Post profiles new Treasury undersecretary Robert Steel, who is in charge of domestic finance. At the same time, however, "he moonlights as the unpaid chairman of the Board of Trustees of Duke University, a major recipient of federal funds and one of the country's most richly endowed colleges. Experts say it is rare for a senior executive branch official … to hold a significant position outside government." The Post adds, though, that government and university ethics officials "approved the combination as long as Steel did nothing that had a 'direct and predictable effect' on Duke's finances, a stipulation that he accepted."