Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were all up in overnight trading, with the Hang Seng up 1.42%. Major European markets are mixed in early trading, and U.S. futures suggest a positive open. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- Data on personal incomes and consumer spending showed a big spike in personal incomes, but a meager increase in spending. Read about it here >
- Pressure continues to mount on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, with China and Russia now moving against Qaddafi through the UN Security Council. Oil prices are lower this morning. Check out how tight the noose is around Qaddafi’s neck >
- Stocks continue to fall across the Middle East, with shares in Oman plunging, with 6 protesters now confirmed dead. The Saudi Arabian market continued to slide as well, as fears persist instability may spread there. Don’t miss: The 11 countries at risk of becoming the next Egypt >
- Ireland’s new leader Enda Kenny is already planning meetings with his centre right counterparts in Europe to work out a deal to lower Ireland’s bailout interest rate. Kenny has yet to form his coalition government. Here’s how Ireland became the biggest basket case in Europe >
- JPMorgan Chase is trying to negotiate a deal with Twitter for a direct investment. The bank currently holds 10% of the company’s shares, purchased on the secondary market, at a valuation of $4.5 billion.
- Healthcare real estate firm Ventas will buy Nationwide Health Properties for $7.4 billion. The acquisition will create a healthcare REIT that ranks as one of the country’s largest.
- Blackstone is buying Centro Properties Group’s 588 U.S. properties in a deal worth $9.4 billion. The deal will allow Centro to continue to hold its properties in Australia and sees Blackstone pay more than the outstanding debt on the U.S. properties. See why nearly all the world’s best cities are in Australia and Canada >
- The Chicago PMI crushed expectations again today. Read about it here >
- The Pending Home Sales Index is released by the National Association of Realtors at 10 AM ET. It is expected to continue to show poor sales in the existing homes sector of the housing market. Check out why Bill Ackman thinks now is the time to buy a house >
- Bonus: Scarlett Johansson took Joe Machota, her agent, as her date to the Oscars last night. Johansson recently divorced Ryan Reynolds. Don’t miss our breakdown of the Oscar winning documentary Inside Job >