Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.15%. Major European indices are up and U.S. markets have opened higher. Now, here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge attention this morning >
- Moody’s downgraded 30 Spanish banks and shares are expected to plummet on the news. Increased pressure on the real estate sector and the restructuring of the banking sector which left smaller banks weak were cited as the primary reasons for the downgrade. Don’t miss: The 14 countries more likely to default than Spain >
- The Egyptian market is down over 6% for a second straight day. Trade was suspended for 30 minutes during the day as the market continued to plummet. Now here are the 11 countries that could become the next Egypt >
- Portuguese 2-year bond yields soared to 6.8% their highest since 1999 after Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ resignation renewed fears of a European bailout.
- Tepco shares plummeted 14% in overnight trading on rising concerns about safety levels at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The repair process is also expected to last many more weeks. Japanese banks may lend the company $25 billion. Don’t Miss: The First Pictures Of The Heroic Fukushima Workers >
- UK retail sales dropped 0.8% month-over-month, from January to February and the drop was worse than expected. Year-over-year sales increased 1.3%.
- Initial jobless claims came in better than expected. Read about it here >
- Durable Goods Orders came in way worse than expected. Read about it here >
- Chaos continues in the Middle-East. Libya’s military is said to be destroyed though attacks on rebels are ongoing. Residents of Daraa, Syria organised a sit-in to protest the massacre of 25 protestors outside the al-Omari mosque on Wednesday.
- The US auto industry is likely to be hit by a supply shortage of microchips, sensors, rubber and other parts due to the disaster in Japan. Companies expect plant shutdowns from time to time. Don’t miss: Our guide to the economic impact of the Japanese disaster >
- BONUS: Liv Tyler has finally spoken out about her divorce with rock star husband Royston Langdon and said she spent 2 years rebuilding her life after the split.