Good morning. Here’s what you need to know.
- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Nikkei down 0.39% on concerns over a strong yen and disappointing earnings news. Europe is sharply higher, and U.S. markets are up.
- Italy sold €500 million of inflation-linked securities, as it aimed for a €250 million – €500 million target. The country also sold €4.5 billion of two-year, zero-coupon bonds, with the average yield falling to 3.76%, compared with 4.85% in December. This is Italy’s first debt auction, after S&P downgraded the country by two notches earlier this month. Don’t Miss: 6 top economists tell us whether the euro crisis is over >
- Greece resumes it debt negotiations with private creditors today. Charles Dallara, who represents the private creditors, is meeting with prime minister Lucas Papademos. Meanwhile, IMF chief Christine Lagarde stepped up pressure on the ECB, by saying that the ECB along with the public sector will have to take losses, if those taken by the private creditors are not enough.
- Some economic data out of Europe, French consumer sentiment rose to 81 in January, from 80 the previous month. And German consumer confidence, which is a forward looking indicator, rose to 5.9 for February, from a revised 5.7 in January. Now check out what the euro economy will do in 2012 and 2013 >
- Durable goods orders for December surged 3% crushing expectations. Meanwhile, inital jobless claims jumped to 377K >
- Netflix reported Q4 earnings of $0.73 per share, on revenue of $876 million, beating expectations. The company rounded off the year with 24.4 million U.S. subscribers, or 600,000 more members than it had in September.
- In earnings news, Lockheed Martin reported Q4 net income of $2.14 per share. This comes after the Pentagon announced yesterday, that it would buy 13 fewer jets from Lockheed, than previously planned. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable posted earnings of $1.39 per share, on sales of $4.99 billion. The company said it would buy back $4 billion of shares. Don’t Miss: JP Morgan’s 28 best stock picks for 2012 >
- Ireland has returned to the international bond market for the first time since September 2010. The National Treasury Management Agency offered to switch an €11.9 billion bond set to mature in January 2014, for a new note that would mature in February 2015. The government is trying to cut its funding requirements in 2014, as it works towards exiting its bailout program. Now check out the real state of government deficits in the eurozone >
- New home sales fell 2.2% in December to 307K annualized >
- South Korea’s economy grew just 0.4% in the fourth quarter, from the third quarter when it rose 0.8%. Europe’s debt crisis and a slowdown in the global economy hurt exports, and GDP grew at the slowest pace in two years.
- BONUS – Taylor Swift was spotted at the London Zoo. Swift is reportedly in London rehearsing for her upcoming role in Les Miserables.