Good Morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were up in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite up 0.86%. Major European indices are up and US futures indicate a positive open. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- Sanofi-Aventis has agreed to a $20.1 billion acquisition of US biotech company Genzyme. Sanofi is paying $74 a share and could fork over an additional $14 in conditional payments by 2020.
- Dell announced 4Q net income of $927 million which is more than double what it made a year earlier. Share prices increased 5.8% on the news.
- Australian oil and gas giant BHP Billiton is planning a $80 billion expansion after profits over six months ending in December rose 72%. The company has also announced $10 billion share buyback. For some key charts from the BHP announcement, see here >
- SocGen 4Q net profit nearly quadrupled to €874 million from a year before. The share price is up 4% on the news.
- PPI is out, and while the headline number of 0.8% was right in line with expectations, core PPI was very hot.
- The finance ministers of G20 nations are going to meet in Paris this weekend which has gone heavily underreported by the press.
- President Obama’s 2012 budget didn’t touch entitlements which many believe would be political suicide ahead of upcoming 2012 elections while others think it could be a trap set for the GOP since his plans wouldn’t get past Republican controlled house. Click here for a guide to Obama’s budget >
- Bernie Madoff gave his first prison interview in which he declared that banks “had to know” about his fraud. He says he is cooperating to help track down assets. Last month the Madoff trustee sued JPMorgan to recover funds. Here is the ultimate list of Bernie Madoff victims >
- Protests in the middle-east continue with clashes in Yemen, an internet blackout in Bahrain and a clamp down on foreign media in Iran. Hundreds of protestors took to the streets in Libya after the arrest of a human rights. Click here for a guide to the Mideast’s worrisome demographics >
- BONUS – Miley Cyrus’ father, Billy Ray Cyrus, said Hannah Montana ruined his life and said he wishes his daughter had never been part of the show.
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