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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading, with the Nikkei down 0.07%. Major European indices are mostly lower, and U.S. futures suggest a negative open. Check out the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- The Conference Board’s index of leading indicators is released at 10:00 AM ET. Expectations are for a 1.2% rise. Follow coverage of the release at Money Game >
- Tensions in Asia remain high this morning, with South Korea planning military drills North Korea has promised to retaliate to. Japan has also released its military review, which calls on the country to refocus its defensive attention towards China. These are the destructive capabilities of North Korea everyone is fearful of >
- The House of Representative passed the tax cut bill, with many Democrats voting against it. The bill will be sent to the President’s desk immediately, as it is the same as the Senate measure previously passed. If it were up to progressives, here’s how the deficit would be cut >
- European Union officials have agreed to changes in the region’s treaty that would create an official bailout fund for troubled states. If approved by all member states, the fund will come into play by 2013. These are the states European leaders are worried may fall next >
- Germany’s business confidence is now at its highest level since the country was reunited in 1990. The rise to 109.9 is a result of increasing confidence from the German retail industry.
- Moody’s slashed Ireland’s rating by 5 notches, to Baa1 from Aa2. The ratings agency has retained a negative outlook on the country. This is how Ireland became the biggest basketcase in Europe >
- Visa and MasterCard were slammed in trading yesterday due to proposed rule changes from the Fed. The changes would impact the profits of both firms associated with debit card fees.
- The government has delayed approval of AstraZeneca’s Brilinta drug asking for more data from a study. The drug is intended to help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
- Wells Fargo is now the biggest bank in the United States by market value, edging above JPMorgan. The firm’s market cap is now $157.6 billion.
- Bonus: Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon are having twins.
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