10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Madonna

Photo: AP Images

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

  • Markets in Asia were mostly flat in overnight trade, with Japan’s Nikkei up 0.09 per cent. Shares in Europe are higher with the exception of the FTSE (down 0.17 per cent) and U.S. futures are up slightly (0.2 per cent).
  • Europe began the week in risk-on mode after reports yesterday that the ECB was considering capping sovereign bond yields at pre-determined levels to aid European countries struggling to contain funding costs. However, the ECB’s denial of such a plan this morning sent the euro lower again.
  • Health insurer Aetna announced plans to acquire Coventry Health for $5.7 billion, or $42.08 per share, this morning. If the merger is approved, it will make Aetna one of the biggest providers of government health care.
  • Best Buy has named Hubert Joly its new CEO. Joly is the former CEO of Carlson, the parent company of TGI Friday’s and Radisson Hotels. Best Buy Founder Richard Schulze Has Sent An Insistent Letter To The Board Of Directors >
  • Lowes missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations when it reported earnings of $0.64 per share this morning versus estimates of $0.70. The company also cut full-year EPS guidance to $1.64 from $1.83. Shares are down nearly 6 per cent in pre-market trading. Here’s what the biggest companies in the world are saying about the economy >
  • The Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans on creating the first major European derivatives exchange within days, the Wall Street Journal’s Michelle Price reports. The exchange would officially open in the second quarter of 2013 and follows the company’s failed attempt at purchasing the LME after the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing outbid it.
  • The main U.S. economic announcement of the day is the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. There is no consensus for the report. Follow it live on Money Game >
  • The Spanish government announced over the weekend that it wanted to see details about the support the ECB is willing to give peripheral bond markets if Spain submits a formal request for a bailout to the eurozone’s bailout mechanisms, the EFSF and ESM. Goldman says it’s time to bet on a comeback in Europe >
  • China’s Shanghai Composite index tumbled to a post-crisis low this morning.  This is a sharp and stunning divergence from the US stock market. Some analysts are concerned this is signaling a hard landing for China’s economy.
  • Gu Kalai, the wife of former Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who was charged for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, was imprisoned and given a suspended death sentence for the crime.

Bonus: Madonna is being sued by Russians offended by her support of gay rights.

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