Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian indices were mostly lower in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite sliding 0.90%. Major European indices are down and U.S. markets have opened in the red.
- More terrible economic data from the U.K.. Total business investment for Q1 came in at -7.1% much worse than the flat reading in Q4 2010. Government spending on the other hand saw 1% growth versus the expected 0.2%. Now here are the 15 countries most buried in debt >
- French finance minister Christine Lagarde has announced that she will make a bid for the position of managing director of the IMF. Meanwhile BRIC leaders oppose the move and reminded IMF officials that they had promised the next IMF chief would not be European. Don’t miss: The fabulous life of Dominique Strauss Kahn before he was arrested >
- The next vote on an increase in the federal debt ceiling is scheduled for next week. President Obama has asked for a “clean” debt ceiling hike. Republicans have, however, only agreed to the date to prove to Democrats that such a vote wouldn’t go through without major spending cuts. Check out Paul Ryan’s presentation in the push for budget cuts >
- Costco Wholesale Corp. reported higher Q3 earnings of $324 million or $0.73 a share. Profits for the quarter ending May 8 were given a boost from stronger foreign currencies and higher gasoline sales.
- French oil company Total has extended its offer to buy up to 60% of U.S. solar company SunPower Corp by two weeks after a delay caused by consultations with European regulators. The company made a $1.37 billion bid for the majority stake and the offer will expire on June 14.
- Zynga is reportedly preparing to join the current tech IPO boom with a share offering in June. The company is said to have met with representatives of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs and is close to choosing bankers that will help Zynga prepare regulatory filings. Now look at how Zygna makes millions off its blockbuster game Cityville >
- Durable goods data for April came in much worse than expected. Read about it here >
- New OECD data has found that U.S. and European economies have grown at a faster than expected rate. Global growth is expected to ease to 4.2% this year, from 4.9% in 2010. Now here are the hardest working countries in the world >
- Democrat Kathy Hochul beat GOP candidate Jane Corwin 47% to 42% to take New York’s 26th Congressional district. This was seen by many as a referendum on the Republican’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
- Overnight, 7 more people were killed in tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas.The cleanup after the destructive tornadoes in Joplin continues today. Here are photos of the devastating tornadoes that hit Joplin >