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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were up in overnight trading with the Nikkei rising 1.12%. Europe is lower as UK GDP falls, and Novartis and Ericsson report weak earnings. U.S. futures are mixed, with tech-heavy NASDAQ up, but the S&P and DJIA moderately lower.
- The UK economy shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter, with GDP falling 0.2% from the previous quarter. GDP growth slowed as manufacturing slowed and services stagnated moving the UK closer to another recession. Now check out what the euro economy will do in 2012 and 2013 >
- Japan reported its first annual trade deficit since 1980. The $32 billion deficit for 2011 was driven by a surge in energy-imports after the devastating tsunami caused a shutdown of nuclear plants, and pushed manufacturing abroad.
- German business confidence climbed for a third straight month to 108.3 in January, from 107.3 the previous month. The Ifo Institute’s index is based on a survey of 7,000 executives and suggests that Germany could have shaken off a probable contraction in the fourth quarter. Don’t Miss: 6 top economists’ tell us whether the euro crisis is over >
- President Obama delivered his third State of the Union address last night in which he pushed hard for higher taxes for the rich. He said those who make more than $1 million year, should not pay less than 30% in taxes. He also pitched a plan to reduce mortgage payments and pushed for shale gas exploration. Here’s the full text of the state of the union address >
- In earnings news, United Technologies reported Q4 earnings of $1.47 per share, on sales of $15 billion. Netflix is expected to post earnings of $0.54 per share. ConocoPhillips is expected to announce Q4 earnings of $1.46 per share, and Boeing reported earnings of $1.32 per share, on revenue of $19.6 billion.
- The FOMC announcement will be out at 12:30 PM today, for the January 24 – 25 policy meeting, and the Fed funds target is expected to remain unchanged. The Fed will also release its quarterly forecast between the announcement and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conference at 2:15 PM ET.
- In M&A news, Swiss global healthcare company Roche Holding has made a $5.7 billion hostile bid for Illumina Inc. Roche Holding is taking a dive into the gene technology field with this offer, and hopes to boost cancer-drug sales. Roche currently owns a small number of Illumina shares and has offered to pay $44.50 in cash, for each Illumina share.
- Apple announced blowout earnings after the bell yesterday, posting earnings of $13.87 per share, crushing expectations of $10.07. Meanwhile, revenue also blew past expectations coming in at $46.33 billion. Apple sold 15.4 million iPads and 37 million iPhones. Don’t Miss: JP Morgan’s 28 best stock picks for 2012 >
- Pending home sales data for November will be released at 10 AM ET. Consensus is for a 1% month-over-month drop in the pending home sales index. Follow the release at Money Game >
- BONUS – Jennifer Aniston reportedly bought a $21 million four-bedroom home in Bel Air.