10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Kim Kardashian

Photo: Getty Images

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

  • Markets in Asia rallied moderately higher overnight, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.7 per cent. European markets are mixed this morning while U.S. futures point to a flat open.
  • Euro area consumer prices increased 2.6 per cent in March, 10 basis points below the previous reading as fuel costs moderated.
  • Taiwan’s economy grew 0.36 per cent year-on-year, as the country emerged from recession. That was below forecasts for 0.91 per cent growth during the first quarter. The government forecasts GDP will grow by 3.38 per cent this year, below earlier estimates.
  • Barnes & Noble has entered a joint venture with Microsoft to spin off its Nook e-reader and College businesses. Microsoft invested $300 million in the new company, valuing it at $1.7 billion. These 10 hedge funds are making a killing on Barnes and Noble today.
  • Apple paid just 9.8 per cent in taxes last year, substantially below peers across the S&P 500, The New York Times’ Charles Duhigg reports. The company paid $3.3 billion of cash taxes on profits of $34 billion. Apple is just one of the most controversial stocks in the world >
  • Phil Falcone agreed to step down as an officer of LightSquared, potentially giving the company a one-week extension on its debt deal to avoid default. Sources tell the Journal that if the one-week plan is approved, Falcone and LightSquared’s lenders will go to work on a longer extension. 
  • Energy Transfer Partners will buy Sunoco for $5.3 billion, bolstering the company’s oil and gas unit. ETP offered Sunoco $25 in cash and 0.56245 units of stock per share. 
  • Embattled law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf announced over the weekend it has ousted its former chairman and ended merger talks with Greenberg Traurig. Dewey faces a major deadline on Monday to extend a credit line or face potential default. 
  • Economic announcements in the U.S. kick off at 8:30 a.m. with March personal income and outlays. Consensus is for incomes to increase by 0.3 per cent, while spending increases 0.4 per cent. Follow it live on Money Game >
  • Both NYSE Euronext and Humana missed earnings expectations this morning. The trading group was a penny short, with EPS at $0.47. Meanwhile, healthcare giant Humana earned $1.49 per share, below the $1.55 estimate. Here’s what the world’s largest companies are telling us about the economy.

Bonus: President Obama and Jimmy Kimmel joked about Kim Kardashian at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner.

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