10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.36%. Major European indices are in the red and U.S. stocks are tanking on the S&P outlook revision.
  • Today’s Spanish debt auction of short-term securities produced higher yields than expected, and has put pressure on the Spanish sovereign. The bank sold €3.5 billion of 1-year treasury bills at an average yield of 2.77% and 18-month treasury bills worth €1.1 billion, at an average yield of 3.36%. Don’t miss: the 21 countries most likely to default >
  • Greek 10-year yields have surged to 13.936%, though Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou has denied rumours of debt restructuring. It was reported that Greece requested an extension to repay its debt but was denied by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Check out the hardest working countries in the world >
  • The populist True Finns party jumped to 19% of all votes in Sunday’s election, making huge gains over the centre Party of Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi. The True Finns are opposed to the Portuguese bailout, and now could delay its progress.
  • The People’s Bank of China hiked its reserve requirement ratio by a half point to 20.5%. The hike comes after China reported higher than expected inflation rates last week. Here are 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
  • Johnson & Johnson is reported to be acquiring Synthes, a Swiss medical devices group for about $20 billion. J&J shares were up on the news.
  • The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index will be released at 10 AM ET. Consensus for April is 17, the same as March. Follow the release at Money Game >
  • Halliburton announced net profit of $511 million for Q1 2011 and earnings of $0.61 per diluted share. The company reported a total Q1 revenue of $5.3 billion. 
  • Moody’s has downgraded Irish government-backed banks to junk status. The ratings agency said the decision follows last week’s downgrade of Ireland’s sovereign rating to a level just one notch above official junk status. Don’t miss: Niall Ferguson’s new presentation on the decline of the west >
  • Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has said the global market is oversupplied and announced that OPEC cut its output. In March, it supplied nearly 8.3 million barrels, a decline which coincided with a decrease in demand from Japan. Check out this former BP executives presentation on why peak oil is real >
  • BONUS: Penelope Cruz has revealed that she would love to do more musicals and that she is a huge fan of TV show Glee.