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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were higher in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 1.04%. Europe is higher after two solid bond auctions, and U.S. stocks are up early in the trading session.
- Spain sold €6.6 billion of government bonds maturing in 2016, 2019 and 2022, beating its €4.5 billion target. Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds rose after the auction. Meanwhile, France also saw strong demand for its debt, with the national debt management agency selling €7.97 billion of medium-term bonds at the higher end of its range. Now check out what the euro economy will do in 2012 and 2013 >
- rumours of Eastman Kodak’s bankruptcy have been doing the rounds for a while, and now it’s official. After meeting with Citigroup to obtain $950 million in emergency financing earlier this month, the 130-year old photography equipment pioneer has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Greece’s government and private creditors are meeting for a second day of debt-swap talks. Several hedge fund managers that hold Greek debt have said that they haven’t been involved in talks on private sector involvement which centre on a 50% haircut on their holdings. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’ government needs to reach an agreement with bondholders by March 20, when Greece will have to make a €14.5 billion repayment. Check out the 25 riskiest countries in the world >
- In earnings news, Bank of America posted Q4 earnings of $0.15 per share, on revenue of $25.1 billion, meanwhile, Morgan Stanley reported a smaller than expected Q4 net loss of $0.15 per share, on revenue on $5.7 billion per share. Both stocks are rallying nicely in the pre-market.
- Tech giants Microsoft and Google are also expected to post earnings of $0.77 per share, and $10.48 per share respectively.
- CPI was flat in December, with core CPI rising 0.1% month-over-month. Meanwhile, housing starts fell 4.1% in December to 657,000 on an annualized basis >
- After S&P’s massive downgrade of European countries last week, Fitch has warned that its review of six European countries could result in one or two notch downgrades for most of them. In December, Fitch placed Belgium, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Slovenia and Ireland on creditwatch negative. Now here are 10 ways to make a fortune in a year of political disarray >
- Initial jobless claims plunged to 352,000, against expectations of a drop to 384K. The Philadelphia Fed Survey for January came in at 7.3, missing the estimate for the figure to drop to 10.
- Australia shed 29,300 jobs in December, losing jobs for a second straight month. The number of full-time jobs grew by 24,500 in December, and part-time employment fell by 53,700. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.2%.
- BONUS – Zooey Deschanel received a birthday message from President Obama.