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Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- Asian indices were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 0.99%. Major European indices are up and U.S. markets have opened in the red.
- Initial jobless claims for the UK have come in at their worst level since January 2010. Jobless claims rose by 12,400 in April to 1.47 million driven by government spending cuts and a weak economic recovery. Don’t miss: Whitney Tilson’s presentation on our period of unusual uncertainty >
- Portugal sold €1 billion of its 2-month treasury bills on Wednesday. Yields remained high at 4.657% despite EU approval of a bailout for the country earlier this week. Here’s who gets slammed in a Greek debt restructuring >
- Oaktree Capital Management is planning to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a deal that would place its value between $8 billion and $9 billion. Oaktree first listed its shares four years ago on a quasi-public exchange set up by Goldman Sachs.
- Staples has reported a 1% drop in comparable store sales and weaker than expected earnings. The company posted Q1 net income of $198 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.28.
- Rosneft announced that it is considering a fresh proposal by BP after the $16 billion share-swap deal with BP lapsed on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a $35 billion plan by BP and ConocoPhillips to build a pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the rest of the US has been cancelled. Check out a former BP executives presentation on why peak oil is real >
- In more earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch posted unaudited net income of $25.1 million and net income per diluted share of $0.28. Farm & construction machinery maker Deere & Co. reported Q2 net earnings of $2.12 per share on 25% increase in net sales and revenue.
- LinkedIn Corp is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange this week. The offering is priced at $42 to $45 a share and values the site at $4.3 billion. The IPO is expected to price after the closing bell today.
- The Federal Open Market Committee issues minutes of its April 26-27 meeting at 2 PM ET. Follow the release at Money Game >
- Moody’s has downgraded the debt ratings of Australia’s 4 largest banks including Westpac Banking Corp, and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., to an Aa1 investment grade. This follows on concerns that rising interest rates will crimp some parts of the economy and banking profits. Don’t miss: A complete guide to Australia’s housing bubble >
- BONUS: Blake Lively was spotted spending time with newly single Leonardo DiCaprio on a luxury boat in Cannes.