10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Obama Football

Photo: The White House via Flickr

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Markets in Asia were mixed in overnight trading, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng off 0.2 per cent. European shares are modestly higher while U.S. futures point to a positive open. 
  • Leaders of the Group of Eight countries met at Camp David over the weekend, focusing on issues in Europe and an Iranian oil embargo—but came to little consensus. In a statement made on Sunday, the leaders said they would continue to boost their own economies, “recognising that the right measures are not the same for each of us.” Here’s what you need to know about the coming fiscal cliff >
  • Barclays said it would sell its 19.6 per cent stake in BlackRock, raising some $6.1 billion through the sale. BlackRock is expected to purchase up to $1 billion in the share sale.
  • Eurozone construction spending increased at the fastest rate in a decade, improving 12.4 per cent in March from February. Output rose in 10 countries and fell in four, with Germany and France registering gains of 30.7 per cent and 17.8 per cent, respectively.
  • Yahoo will sell as much as half of its stake in Alibaba back to the company for some $7.1 billion, representing 20 per cent of Alibaba. At the same time, the company said it would increase its share buyback program by $5 billion. This is what Yahoo wants for its ad business >
  • The man in charge of managing risks within JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office, the unit that posted a trading loss of more than $2 billion, was fired by Cantor Fitzgerald in 2007 for money-losing trades that prompted regulatory sanctions against the bank, Bloomberg’s Lisa Abramowicz reports. 
  • The Libyan officer convicted for downing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, died in Tripoli this weekend. Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi denied his role in the bombing that killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. 
  • NASDAQ chief Executive Robert Greifeld said the company was “humbly embarrassed” by issues during Facebook’s initial public offering, saying it “was not our finest hour.” Here’s a 60-second guide to the Facebook IPO fizzle >
  • The only U.S. economic announcement of the day is a reading of national activity in April from the Chicago Fed. The report last registered at -0.29. Follow it live on Money Game >
  • Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Co. lowered its full year guidance by two cents this morning, to a range of $1.73 to $1.83 per share. The company said earnings had increased 14 per cent to $527 million, or $0.43 cents a share.

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