ronaldo crying soccer
Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo.

It was a relatively quiet day for news in the U.S. This allowed traders to refocus their attentions on Europe, which continues to be a huge mess.First, the scoreboard:

Dow: 12,653.7, -6.7, -0.1%
S&P 500: 1,313.0, -3.3, -0.3%
NASDAQ: 2,811.9, -4.6, -0.2%

And now, the top stories:

  • One by one, each of the eurozone debt-laden PIIGS have managed to steal the financial market headlines. The stories of Greece, Italy, and Spain are well-known.  But the PIIGS du jour was Portugal. The yield on the Portuguese 10-year note soared north of 17 per cent, which had everyone freaking out. Now Here’s Who Gets Crushed If Portugal Goes Bust >
  • Meanwhile, Greece hasn’t exactly escaped the headlines either.  Last Friday, reports surfaced that Germany would push Greece to cede control of its budgetary processes.  Greece obviously wasn’t having any of that.
  • Then again, Greece might not have many other options. The country continues to negotiate with its private creditors regarding a potential debt swap deal.  According to one recent report, private creditors may have to take up to a 70 per cent write down on their Greek debt holdings.
  • U.S. economic data painted a mixed picture this morning.  Personal income jumped 0.5 per cent in December, which was higher than the 0.4 per cent increase expected.  However, spending was flat; economists were hoping for 0.1 per cent.  Based on the moves in these two measures, it’s probably obvious that the savings rate went up.
  • The Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index flew under the radar, but the reading was quite bullish for the region.  The general business index jumped to 15.3 from December’s reading of -0.3.  Economists were only looking for 1.5.  Readings on orders and labour were bullish.
  • Merger Monday: Switzerland’s ABB, an engineering firm, agreed to buy electrical parts maker Thomas & Betts at a 24 per cent premium to its recent stock price.  This news came as Thomas & Betts reported that quarterly earnings jumped by a better-than-expected 42 per cent.
  • Don’t Miss: Here’s What Big Companies Are Telling Us About The World Economy >