Shockingly Good News! Market Aims High; Health-Care Package Gets Shot in Arm

Positive news developments are poking through the recession like sunbeams after a bad storm:

Barack Obama's health-care package got a shot in the arm from Congressional Budget Office analysts, who said it wouldn't raise the deficit and would actually cover more people.

Stock futures point to a strong opening this morning, thanks in part to Alcoa's surprisingly good third-quarter financials.

Republicans crossed the aisle to help save scandal-ridden tax evader House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, at least for now.

Consumers reduced their credit-card debt for the 11th straight month and some of them are actually putting money into savings.

This last development is supposedly not so good for the business sector — you're supposed to go deeper into debt to complete the rescue of Wall Street. But in the long term, that has to be a good change in habits for the average American.

Elsewhere in the world, a car bomb in downtown Kabul killed 12 people, a deadly typhoon tore through Japan, and malaria and diarrhea flooded the Philippines after a typhoon last week.