10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Alicia silverstone

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

  • Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 0.25%. Major European indices are in the green and U.S. markets have opened positive.
  • The IMF may give Greece an additional €30 billion in bailout funds by 2013. In return Greece would be more aggressive with its austerity measures. The government continues to deny the news. S&P cut Greece’s credit rating by two notches yesterday. Now here’s a look at who gets slammed if Greece defaults >
  • China’s trade surplus in April surged to $11.43 billion, beating expectations. The rise was the result of both a huge year-on-year increase in exports, and a small decline in the imports. Don’t miss: The 13 most impressive cities in the world >
  • Microsoft is near a deal to buy Skype for $8.5 billion. The deal would be the biggest in Microsoft’s history. The company is interested in Skype’s user-base and “social network”. Check out Microsoft’s 15 biggest acquisitions so far >
  • In a speech last night, Speaker John Boehner said the debt ceiling wasn’t urgent and didn’t believe default was likely. Boehner continues to argue that tax hikes are strictly off limits. Don’t miss: Paul Ryan’s plan to save America from bankruptcy >
  • U.S. import prices rose faster than expected, at 2.2% month-over-month.
  • EasyJet, Europe’s second largest low-cost airline, reported a 94% rise in pre-tax losses to £153m in the six months to the end of March. Earnings were hit by rising fuel costs.
  • Google is expected to launch a new online music service today, a rival to Amazon’s similar service. Google is going to launch the service without the support of major music labels. Here are 23 amazing things you didn’t know about Google >
  • Bank of America has said it will cut its $850 billion portfolio of bad mortgages in half over the next three years. The company’s stock price continues to under perform its largest rivals.
  • Bill Gross has gone short on U.S. Treasuries again. He has revised his assets in treasuries from -3% to -4%. He first went short on Treasuries in April when they had their best month. Here’s Niall Ferguson’s guide to the decline of the West >
  • BONUS: Alicia Silverstone gave birth to her son Bear Blu Jarecki in LA yesterday.