Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.22%. Major European indices are mixed and US markets have opened lower. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- The Portuguese bailout could rise as high as $129 billion according to latest reports. Prime Minister Jose Socrates announced yesterday that Portugal would request EU funding but it appears that many details of the package have already been worked out. Don’t miss: 8 shocks Citi believes will slam the global economy >
- Spain’s economy minister Elena Salgado has ruled out a Spanish bailout. The country passed its first ‘contagion test’ after it raised €4.1bn in bond sales Thursday. Here are the 14 countries more likely to default than Spain >
- The ECB has hiked rates. Read about it here >
- President Obama said late yesterday that parties had moved closer to a spending agreement, but there had been no final deal on the budget ahead of the Friday deadline. He met with House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Harry Reid. Don’t miss: 11 horrible things that will happen if the government shuts down >
- The Bank of England has kept its key interest rates unchanged today. It held its benchmark official bank rate at 0.50%.
- Initial jobless claims came in slightly better than expectations. Read about it here >
- Japan may expand its current 20 kilometer evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO has also started to pour nitrogen gas into reactor no 1 to reduce risk of hydrogen-oxygen explosions that could release high levels of radioactivity. Here’s a complete guide to Japan’s $200 billion disaster >
- Goldman Sachs will acquire the remaining 55% stake in its Australian and New Zealand unit Goldman Sachs & Partners Australia Group Holdings. The offer values the business at A$1 billion and would require 75% shareholder approval to go through.
- US same store sales figures for March are released today. Costco Wholesale beat expectations with a 13% rise in March same-store sales.
- BONUS: Tina Fey is expecting her second child with husband Jeff Richmond. She made the announcement on The Oprah Winfrey Show which will air later this month.
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