Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian markets were lower in overnight trading, with the Nikkei down 1.46%. European markets are all in negative territory, and U.S. markets are down big this morning. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- The U.S. trade deficit came in at a higher than expected $46.3 billion. Read about it here >
- Initial jobless claims remained below 400,000. Read about it here >
- Moody’s downgraded Spain today over concerns the country’s banking sector is in worse shape than the government admits. The government plans a €20 billion banking sector restructuring, but other estimates see the need for as much as €120 billion. Don’t miss: The 18 countries most likely to default >
- China reported a trade deficit for the month of February overnight. The $7.3 billion deficit is in large part due to the Lunar New Year. Check out what Credit Suisse thinks China will look like in 2015 >
- BMW reported a sharp rise in profits for 2010, increasing to €3.23 billion from €210 million in 2009. The company increased its dividend, with sales rising in both the U.S. and China.
- The fighting in Libya continues today, with rebels pushing on near Tripoli and Qaddafi continuing his bombing campaign on Ras Lanuf. The French government has officially recognised the rebel’s national council as the representative of the Libyan people. Here are the 11 countries that could become the next Egypt >
- Starbucks and Green Mountain coffee have agreed to a deal to package Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea in Green Mountain’s K-Cups. Those cups are used in Keurig single serve coffee machines. Green Mountain is up big in the pre-market.
- The Wisconsin Senate passed legislation that limits collective bargaining by government workers. The plan would allow for unions to bargain over inflation-related wage increases.
- The Bank of England held its key interest rate at 0.5%, even though it only needed two additional hawkish votes to trigger a hike. The country continues to face a high inflation environment. Don’t miss: Why Ben Bernanke doesn’t think an oil price spike merits a rate hike >
- Bonus: Gwen Stefani says her 14-year marriage to Gavin Rossdale hasn’t always been the “easiest” and that she likes to put on makeup daily for him.
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