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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mostly lower in overnight trading, with the Hang Seng down 1.33%. Major European indices are flat, and U.S. futures suggest a slightly positive open. See 10 stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- Housing starts data came in better than expected, but still dismal. Read analysis here >
- Initial jobless claims data met expectations of 420K. Read analysis here >
- China has moved to stop some banks from supplying loans to businesses intending to invest them in real estate and other fixed assets. The move is another part of the country’s new tightening regime meant to slow inflation. Look at the massive ghost cities China has already built >
- European leaders are meeting today to thrash out alterations to the EU’s Lisbon Treaty that would create set rules for bailouts. The rules will not include suggestions like eurobonds or further fiscal integration. These are the next dominos to fall in the eurozone crisis >
- Spain held a somewhat disappointing, if successful, bond auction this morning selling €2.4 billion in debt. The average yield on bonds rose dramatically, however, to 5.446% on the 10-year from 4.615% in November. Here’s the complete guide to the Spanish debt crisis that has everyone worried >
- BP shares fell in London trading in the wake of a U.S. government lawsuit against the company. It has also emerged that BP had a similar accident to the one in the Gulf of Mexico in Azerbaijan that ended safely. Check out why Whitney Tilson was bullish on BP >
- Bank of America is working on settlement deals with many of its mortgage investors, including Pimco, the New York Fed, and BlackRock, that would see the company take back its loans. The bank has denied this is a change in policy. These are the details of Bank of America’s mortgage putback exposure >
- Goldman Sachs is planning to launch a new, over $1 billion hedge fund in Hong Kong. The fund is to be run by Goldman’s highest paid trader, Morgan Sze.
- Philadelphia Fed survey data is released at 10:00 AM ET. It is expected to show another positive number, this time 16, a drop from last month’s surge to 22.5. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Bonus: Kim Kardashian claims she plans to be single for the whole of 2011. Check out why Kim Kardashian quit Twitter >
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