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- Asian markets were mixed in overnight trading with the Shanghai Composite off 1.06 per cent. The decline in Chinese stocks was led by financial and industrial companies. Europe is mostly higher and U.S. futures are drifting higher.
- In earnings news, Bank of America reported earnings of $0.03 per share, on adjusted revenue of $19.61 billion dollars, with revenue missing expectations. The bank had 14,601 fewer employees at the end of 2012, compared to a year ago.
- Meanwhile, Citigroup missed expectations when it reported earnings of $0.69 per share, on revenue of $18.66 billion. Net interest margin expanded to 2.93 per cent. The stock is down 2.5 per cent in pre-market trading. JP Morgan’s complete guide to the markets >
- The Spanish Treasury auctioned €4.5 billion of bonds maturing in 2015, 2018, and 2041, meeting the top end of its target. Borrowing costs declined at the auction.
- Housing starts surged 12.1 per cent to 954k in December, crushing expectations for just 3.3 per cent growth. Initial jobless claims fell last week to 335k, which was much lower than the 369k reading economists were expecting. The Philadelphia Fed Survey for January is out at 10 a.m. ET. Consensus is for the general business conditions index to decline to 6. Follow the release at Business Insider >
- Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports fell 16.3 per cent year-over-year in December, the most since October 2011. For the year, exports were up 0.5 per cent.
- Boeing is down nearly 3 per cent in pre-market trading. And Air India became the latest airline to ground its 787 flights. This comes after the FAA forced American airlines to ground their fleet until the battery related problems were investigated. Japan and Europe have already grounded their 787 Dreamliners.
- Rio Tinto’s CEO Tom Albanese has exited the company as the company announced a $14 billion writedown in connection with his two most significant acquisitions, Mozambican coal and the Alcan aluminium group, according to Reuters. 22 insights from the most successful investors in history >
- Some hostages have escaped from a remote Algerian gas plant where they were being held hostage by Islamist gunmen calling for a stop to a French military campaign against Mali.
- The Australian economy shed 5,500 jobs in December, missing analyst estimates for a 4,000 gain. The unemployment rate climbed to 5.4 per cent. For the year, Australia added 148,300 payrolls last year after a 49,800 gain in 2011 making it the two worst years for job growth since 1997, according to Bloomberg.
- Bonus – While talking to The Hollywood Reporter Nicole Kidman said she loves her life in Tennessee and that she’s “just a nice southern Girl”.
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