1. Benchmark oil prices dropped below $40 a barrel last week, the lowest level in six years, darkening investor sentiment towards commodity-linked companies and exporting countries including Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
4. But the carriers are having a more difficult time over the winter holidays. About 30 percent of winter holiday flights were delayed in 2012, on top of significant delays in 2011 and 2010. You can check holiday flight statistics from the Transportation Department on its website.