Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The remarkable 2012 rally continues.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,949.8, +45.7, +0.3%
S&P 500: 1,361.2, +3.1, +0.2%
NASDAQ: 2,951.7, -8.0, -0.2%

And now, the top stories:

  • Everyone’s been talking about this reported European Central Bank (ECB) debt swap deal.  Overall, the market’s reaction has been positive.  But some experts are arguing that the only winner in such a deal would be the ECB.  At issue is something called a “collective action clause” or CAC.  From UBS’s Art Cashin: [A CAC] in laymen’s terms means that if a majority of the bonds held, agree to a change of terms, all the other bondholders are bound by the altered terms.” What does this have anything to do with the rumoured ECB debt swap?  Cashin explains:  “The tipoff is that the new bonds, to be swapped for the current bonds, will have no collective action clauses.  So, if the new bonds are issued in time, the ECB will not be bound by the haircut that private holders may ‘agree’ to.”
  • The consumer price index (CPI) climbed 0.2 per cent in January, which was just barely lower than the 0.3 per cent increase that economists were expecting.  Core CPI climbed 0.2 per cent which was right in line.
  • The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index climbed by just 0.4 per cent, which was shy of the 0.5 per cent increase expected by economists.  Among the positive reads was the rising average manufacturing workweek.  Sure the LEI wasn’t as high as economists had hoped, but it was still positive.  Here Are The Best And Worst Economists Of 2011 >
  • Meanwhile, ECRI’s Weekly Leading Index – which is similar to the LEI – climbed for the fifth straight week, further weakening Lakshman Achuthan’s recession call.  Achuthan is scheduled to speak with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene next Friday.
  • The biggest news of the day – particularly for New Yorkers – is that Time Warner Cable and MSG have finally reached a compromise that should soon get Knicks games back on TV for 1.7 million Time Warner customers.   Shares of Madison Square Garden spiked on the news.
  • Don’t Miss: 10 States Where You Can Get Incredible Deals On Foreclosed Homes >

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