10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

japan tsunami

Photo: ap

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Stocks in Japan collapsed overnight, with the Nikkei down 6.2%. Other Asian indices, however, held up strong, with the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng in positive territory. U.S. market have opened lower, but not by much. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
  • Oil futures have slid below $100 on demand worries from Japan, and the movement of Saudi troops into Bahrain. Brent is also trading lower, now down to $111.
  • The crisis continues at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, with another explosion, this time at reactor 3. This explosion was somewhat anticipated, and authorities now report that reactors 1 and 2 have cooled down. Follow our live coverage here >
  • The Bank of Japan has expanded its quantitative easing program by 10 trillion yen ($122 billion) in the wake of the disaster. That’s in addition to liquidity support the bank provided at market open today. Don’t miss: Stunning photos of post-apocalyptic Japan >
  • CDS prices for Japanese sovereign debt have spiked in the wake of the disaster and Nikkei dive. Prices have widened from 79 to 90 bps on the country’s 5-year CDS.
  • The conflict continues today in Libya, with Qaddafi’s troops moving toward the rebel capital of Benghazi. The conflict also continues in other cities, including Brega and Ajdabiya. Check out the details on Gaddafi’s military here >
  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has purchased U.S. chemicals manufacturer Lubrizol for $9 billion. The deal values each share of the company at $135. 
  • Operation LeakS, an anonymous hacker group, has released information on Bank of America concerning mortgage loans. Thus far, the move is having a limited impact on Bank of America shares, down less than 1% in the pre-market.
  • The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows foreign banks have $2.5 trillion in exposures to Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. German banks lead the pack, with $569 billion in exposures. Don’t miss: The 14 countries more likely to default than Spain >
  • China has passed the U.S. as the biggest manufacturer in the world, having 19.8% of world output in 2010. The U.S. lagged behind at 19.4%. Here’s what Credit Suisse thinks China will look like in 2015 >
  • Bonus: Lady Gaga has created a prayer bracelet to benefit victims of the Japanese disaster.

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