The Nikkei plunged 382 points today in Japan.
On Wall Street, the Dow ended Friday up 28 points.
And the Nasdaq fell 11.
The United States Senate is expected to vote this week on the nomination of Janet Yellen to be the next Federal Reserve chair. Current Fed chief, Ben Bernanke, ends his second four-year term January 31st.
In one of his final speeches as Fed chair, Bernanke said that he foresees stronger economic growth this year. He also said Amercians' finances have improved and the outlook for home sales is brighter.
Later in the week we'll get the minutes from the Fed's most recent meeting. During the November meeting, the Fed decided the economy is strong enough that it can begin to slowly taper its economic stimulus program by reducing the amount of bonds the agency buys each month.
On Wall Street, investors will be focused on Friday's December unemployment report. In November, the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent from 7 point 3 percent and the economy added 203,000 jobs. Trading is expected to pick up this week with many traders back from holiday vacation.
The government may deregulate genetically engineered crops. The government is considering lifting restrictions on corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer known as 2, 4-D. That's welcome news to farmers, but scientists and environmentalists fear it could lead to the use of more chemicals on crops.
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