Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
— A deal may have been reached to allow elections in Ukraine, although some hardcore protesters still want President Viktor Yanukovych out now. “A senior EU diplomat said the president and opposition leaders were expected to sign the deal on Friday, even though the opposition still wanted some changes,” Reuters reported.
— But now Ukraine must deal with the fact that it is on the verge of defaulting, according to S&P, which cut the country’s credit rating to “CCC,” noting the country lacks external funding to service its debt.
— Groupon shares fell as much as 11% in after-hours trading after the daily deals company forecast more losses for Q1. HP and Priceline shares climbed on solid earnings beats.
— RBS could cut up 30,000 jobs as the company dramatically scales down after absorbing heavy criticism in the wake of the financial crisis. The firm remains in state receivership. CEO Ross McEwan recently published an op-ed admitting the bank sold clients unwanted products in the run-up to the crisis.
— Berkshire Hathaway announced it is ending direct access to Business Wire releases for high-frequency traders.
— It’s a relatively quiet day in data, with existing housing sales out at 10 am ET. Fed presidents James Bullard and Richard Fisher speak today. There are no major earnings announcements today.
— Detroit is expected to file its plan for emerging from bankruptcy today. Freep’s Matt Helms reports: “An earlier draft version of the plan of adjustment, obtained by the Free Press, showed the city proposing steeper cuts to banks and bondholders than it would seek from Detroit’s pensioners, in part because of a deal in the works in which charitable foundations, the state government and the Detroit Institute of Arts would cough up more than $US800 million to make up for pension underfunding in exchange for spinning off the city-owned art museum as an independent charitable trust.”
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