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Feb 9, 2011

CFTC : Enforcement Actions

The following enforcement action has been released:
Hasaan R. Steel 
  • Order: CFTC v. Hasaan R. Steel
  • Complaint: CFTC v. Hasaan R. Steel 
  • CFTC Press Release 5982-11 provides further details on this action.

The Economist: New or Updated Articles

 New or updated articles February 9th 2011

Daily chart: The Shoe Thrower's index
An index of unrest in the Arab world
Full article

Asia: Please don't slam the door
Talks between the Koreas end in a North Korean flounce
Full article

Finance: The Miles Higher club
A paper from the Bank of England suggests Britain's banks need loads more capital than required under the Basel 3 rules
Full article

Africa: Eye-watering Luanda
A dispatch from the world's most expensive city
Full article

Europe: Back in the dock?
A guide to Silvio Berlusconi's various legal troubles
Full article

Asia: Murder in God's name
A shocking episode of religious violence in Indonesia
Full article

Africa: Far from secure
The lack of security for officials in South Sudan shows how far state building there has to go
Full article

Security: Clausewitz
Our new blog, covering defence, security and warfare, is up and running
Full article

Online debate: Global elite
This house believes that the global elite serve the masses. Do you?
Full article

Evening Market Wrap

Evening Market Wrap
Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 17:01


Stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday, with resource stocks leading the way lower even as the U.S. dollar weakened on the day, traditionally a driver of higher demand for commodities. Movement in most other sectors was driven by profit taking, while some individual stocks moved in reaction to corporate news. Essentially unaltered commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke failed to rouse any meaningful reaction from the markets. Full Article
Corporate News

Stock exchange operator NYSE Euronext (NYX), Wednesday confirmed its merger discussions with a German counterpart Deutsche Börse AG, a combination that would create one of the biggest exchange operators globally. Nevertheless, the companies made it clear that they have not reached any agreement related to the transaction and have not been sure of reaching an agreement. Full Article

Aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) reported Wednesday a 9 percent year-over-year decline in profit for the fourth quarter, reflecting an increase in corporate unallocated expenses and a sales drop. Earnings per share from continuing operations came in significantly above analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates. The company also provided earnings and sales guidance from continuing operations, anticipating the spin-off of shipbuilding business, for the full-year 2011, significantly below Street view. Full Article

Canadian crop nutrients maker Agrium Inc. (AGU, AGU.TO) Wednesday reported a surge in its fourth-quarter profit, driven by strong sales growth in all its business segments amid higher grain prices and growing fertilizer demand. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share topped analysts' forecast. Net earnings were $158 million or $1.00 per share, compared with $30 million or $0.19 per share last year. In the preceding third quarter, the Calgary, Canada-based company posted net earnings of $57 million or $0.37 per share. Full Article

Beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. (KO) on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit surged more than three times from last year, helped by a 40% increase in revenues and a gain related to the purchase of Coca-Cola Enterprises's North American operations. Net income attributable to shareowners of the company rose to $5.77 billion or $2.46 per share from $1.54 billion or $0.66 per share reported last year and was higher than $2.06 billion or $0.88 per share earned in the preceding quarter. Full Article

Insurer American International Group, Inc. (AIG) said Wednesday it expects to record a $4.1 billion charge in the fourth quarter of 2010 to bolster loss reserves in its Chartis property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. According to AIG, "The strengthening to Chartis loss reserves reflects adverse development on prior accident years in classes of business with long reporting tails." The charge was arrived at after completing the company's annual comprehensive loss reserve review. Full Article

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis (SNY, SNYNF.PK), which is in talks to buy U.S. drugmaker Genzyme Corp. (GENZ), Wednesday reported a sharp decline in its fourth-quarter profit as it incurred higher restructuring costs and could not repeat last year's H1N1 sales. The company expects adjusted earnings in 2011 to fall from 2010. Net income attributable to equity holders of Sanofi dipped to 437 million euros (about $593 million) or 0.33 euro per share from 1.21 billion euros or 0.93 euro per share in the previous year. In the preceding third quarter, net income attributable to equity holders of the company was 1.61 billion euros or 1.23 euro per share. Full Article
Featured Article

The dollar weakened against the euro on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers he remains committed to buying U.S. bonds in support of the fragile economic recovery. Bernanke said that persistent weakness in the jobs market requires the Fed to maintain its record low interest rates and $600 billion quantitative easing program. Full Article
Political News

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., outlined a plan to cut more than $74 billion in government spending from President Barack Obama's fiscal 2011 budget request on Wednesday, unveiling a list of 70 specific spending cuts. Rogers said that the cuts would be included in a bill that House Republican leaders are expected to bring to the floor next week to fund the government for the seven months remaining in the fiscal year. Full Article

House Republicans were unable to hold their caucus together Tuesday and failed to pass a temporary extension of three provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the month. Full Article

Virginia Senator Jim Webb, D-Va., announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term, further complicating Democrats' efforts to hold on to a majority in the Senate in 2012. "After much thought and consideration I have decided to return to the private sector, where I have spent most of my professional life, and will not seek re-election in 2012," Webb said in a statement. Full Article

MarketWatch - Personal Finance Daily: Treasury to call for Fannie, Freddie to hike fees:

Personal Finance Daily
FEBRUARY 09, 2011

Wednesday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:
As every parent knows, the act of managing a household made up of two working adults and one or more small children is like operating a finely calibrated machine, and if one bolt starts to loosen, it can send the whole thing flying apart.

OK, maybe that's overstating it. But as Ruth Mantell writes in her Diary of a Recession Baby column, if one spouse is sent overseas for an extended period, that can throw a wrench in the works of any smoothly operating household.

Read Ruth's story to find out some strategies for families in that situation. Plus, read Chuck Jaffe's column to find out what "frugal fatigue" is and why more Americans are experiencing it, and read Rex Nutting's column for more on the recession's effect on the net worth of African-Americans.

— Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


How a family can survive a spouse's long absence

When a spouse must head overseas for his job, maintaining the household can be tough for those left at home. Here are tips on how to handle the separation and the stress.
Read more: How a family can survive a spouse's long absence.

Americans' latest problem: ‘Frugal fatigue'

So long as most Americans are wishing for a return to the good old carefree-spending days, there's a good chance that any progress seen in the nation's savings habits are just temporary and illusory.
Read more: Americans' latest problem: ‘frugal fatigue.'

H-P's TouchPad leaves consumers hanging

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) TouchPad might give Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad a run for its money, but the omission of the tablet's price was a big question mark hanging over the launch.
Read more: H-P's TouchPad leaves consumers hanging.

Financial fitness is the best Valentine's Day gift

Can your significant other really afford that sweet Valentine's Day gift? Can you afford not to know? Heed these tips to make sure your relationship is on firm financial footing.
Read more: Financial fitness is the best Valentine's Day gift.

Wealth of black families has disappeared

The Great Recession has been hell on African-American families, who have seen almost all the wealth they've accumulated disappear.
Read more:


Disney gambles with bedside maternity-ward marketing

As if there aren't enough people coming in and out of your hospital room in the hours and days after you've just given birth, add one more from the corporate world this time.
Read more: Disney gambles with bedside maternity-ward marketing.


IRS's new offshore amnesty program

The Internal Revenue Service announced a new limited amnesty for U.S. taxpayers with secret foreign accounts that will allow them to pay penalties and avoid jail time.
Read more: IRS's new offshore amnesty program.


10 reasons to be bullish on housing

Almost five full years into the housing downturn, it's still cool to be bearish on real estate — but that's a mistake.
Read more: 10 reasons to be bullish on housing.


Rep. Ron Paul slams bond-buying program

The outspoken Fed critic says the central bank's $600 billion bond-buying program and its near-zero interest rates haven't led to job creation in the United States.
Read more:

Treasury to call for Fannie, Freddie to hike fees

The Obama administration is debating whether to propose a series of things that can be done without statute to reform the troubled housing sector, including having regulators raise the fees that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge for guaranteeing credit risk as a means of slowly easing the private sector back into the housing market.
Read more:

Fed chief Bernanke downplays inflation risk

Ben Bernanke finds himself on the defensive on several fronts, parrying questions posed in the Federal Reserve chairman's first visit before a House committee since Republicans took back control of the lower chamber of Congress.
Read more: Fed chief Bernanke downplays inflation risk.


Few advisers saw NYSE merger coming

Be on guard against Monday-morning quarterbacks claiming that they anticipated a merger between NYSE Euronext Inc. (NYX) and Germany's Deutsche Boerse.
Read more: Few advisers saw NYSE merger coming.

Will market soon surpass its all-time high?

It wasn't that many weeks ago when only those on the lunatic fringe were even willing to ask this question. But, thanks to a stock-market rally that keeps chugging along, even otherwise sober investors are beginning to wonder.
Read more: Will market soon surpass its all-time high?

Emerging-market veteran taps Egypt, Mideast, BRICs

While anxious investors are pulling money out of emerging markets, following antigovernment protests and food riots in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Lebanon, veteran investor Mark Mobius seems unfazed.
Read more:


Bank of England expected to hold rates steady

The Bank of England is expected to leave interest rates on hold when it concludes its policy meeting Thursday, but the dilemma posed by an uncertain growth outlook and mounting inflation pressures grows.
Read more: Bank of England expected to hold rates steady.

London-Toronto exchange deal : who benefits?

The LSE's merger with the Toronto Stock Exchange, and all deals in the sector, are less about customers and more about keeping up with the Joneses in the race to become one of a handful of dominant global exchanges.
Read more: London-Toronto exchange deal, who benefits?

Japan has reason to watch China inflation data

China has replaced the United States as Japan's biggest trading partner, so the mainland's troublesome symptoms are a great concern to its Asian neighbor.
Read more:

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Japan Debates Depictions of Young Girls in Comics


Japan Debates Depictions of Young Girls in Comics

Publishers and fans are objecting to newly tightened restrictions on sales of explicit manga comics in Tokyo.

Obama Plans to Send South Korean Trade Deal to Congress

The United States trade representative said, however, that "serious issues" were holding up deals with Colombia and Panama.

NYSE and Deutsche Börse in Talks

NYSE Euronext said on Wednesday it was in advanced talks with Deutsche Borse over a possible merger.

Britain Reaches Deal With Banks on Lending and Pay

The agreement is an effort to get Britain's biggest banks to lend more to businesses, which would help the economy, while reducing executive bonuses.

German Central Bank Undercuts 'Rumors' Around President

The Bundesbank said there would be no "imminent" announcement regarding Axel Weber, who is seen as the front-runner to become head of the European Central Bank this year.

FINANCIAL & FOREX INFO NEWS: Dow posts eighth day of gains | Reuters - Daily Investor Update



Dow posts eighth day of gains
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors took profits on recent gains in U.S. stocks on Wednesday, but a last-minute rise in Bank of America helped lift the Dow to its eighth straight day of gains. | Full Article

Cisco sales beat Street despite competition fears
February 09, 2011 04:19 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc's quarterly results beat expectations, despite concerns about increasing competition and budget cuts among its debt-burdened clients in the public sector. | Full Article
Deutsche in talks to buy NYSE in major shakeup
February 09, 2011 03:47 PM ET
NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Deutsche Boerse is in advanced talks to buy NYSE Euronext to create the world's largest trading powerhouse, marking the second major transatlantic deal in 24 hours in a massive shake-up of an industry under pressure from upstart rivals. | Full Article
Bernanke says job growth, inflation still too low
February 09, 2011 04:23 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday suggested U.S. economic conditions are still too weak for the central bank to pull back on its vast monetary stimulus, despite a welcome drop in the jobless rate. | Full Article
JPMorgan fires back in $6.4 billion Madoff lawsuit
February 09, 2011 03:01 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co accused the trustee seeking $6.4 billion for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme of doing an end run around the law in pursuing his case, and said it has a right to a jury trial. | Full Article

Financial And Forex Info News:Crunch time for flood levy looms | The Australian Capital Circle


Capital Circle Newsletter
Crunch time for flood levy looms
Progress is being made on Labor's push for a flood levy, and it may come to a head today.

Independent MPs Andrew Wilkie, Tony Windsor, Adam Bandt and Rob Oakeshott will hold a press conference with activist group Get Up! in the Senate courtyard at 9am today. They will receive a petition about Labor's cuts to solar programs and express their concern about the same. Expect them to be grilled about what they want in return for supporting Labor's flood levy. The press conference comes after Bob Katter backed the levy last night, joining WA National Tony Crook in supporting the government, and as the legislation enters the parliament today.
The PM's day, per the press office: Julia Gillard is in Canberra. she has no media commitments at this stage.
Tony Abbott is in Canberra and he also has no media commitments at this stage.
Spotted in Question Time: Adam Bandt and Malcolm Turnbull, talking about the Greens proposal to make the NBN Co. subject to FOI laws - not gay marriage, as many speculated.
Proud dad: WA MP Steve Irons' son, Jarrad, is getting ready to make his AFL debut for the Port Power against the club he supported as a kid, the might Melbourne Demons, on Friday at AAMI Stadium. Father Steve was no slouch during the polticians versus press game last year.
Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens will front the House Economics Committee on Friday at 930am.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young needs a new media adviser.
The flood levy bills will be presented in the House today. Other Bills to be considered today: Families, Housing, Community Services and Other Legislation Amendment, Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill, Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2010-2011, Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2010-2011. Electronic Transactions Amendment Bill, Combating the Financing of People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill, National Broadband Network Companies, Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (NBN Measures - Access Arrangements), Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Amendment, Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Amendment

4 charged with insider trading at hedge funds(2): The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - 10 Most Read Articles

Washington Post

1) Oscar nominees share lunch, tales of awards season

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Jesse Eisenberg joked that Academy Awards season feels like the endless bar mitzvahs he went to when he was 13. Melissa Leo said the road to the Oscars is like a nonstop energy drink. Mark Ruffalo admitted he's just happy to get a free meal out of the awards marathon.

2) 4 charged with insider trading at hedge funds

On Nov. 20, after reading reports about a federal probe of insider trading, hedge fund manager Samir Barai allegedly sent a BlackBerry message to a colleague with some blunt instructions: Go to the office and "Shred as much as u can," "Put all ur data files onto an encrypted drive," and "delete a...

3) Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation

Did she just sell out her fellow progressives?

4) Faster Forward: iPad 2 reportedly in production

A report from the Wall Street Journal says that Apple has begun production of the next generation of the iPad. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, claims that the new tablet will be thinner and lighter, will sport at least one camera for video conferencing and will ha...

5) Patriot Act extension fails in the House by seven votes

House Republicans suffered an embarrassing setback Tuesday when they fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc.

6) Maryland teacher is charged with choking, punching first-graders

A first-grade teacher at a Silver Spring elementary school was charged with several counts of assault Tuesday, when authorities accused her of choking and, in some cases, punching half the 16 students in her class.

7) After a bloated Super Bowl in Dallas, it's time to rein in big game

It's a rough morning-after for the NFL. The Dallas Super Bowl was a bender, but now that the confetti has fallen, it looks like litter. The hangover has hit, a splitting headache and a sour stomach from the $19 margaritas and the $12 wine and the $10 beers and the rest of the fiscal insanity. Is ...

8) Opposition: Mubarak must act now or risk 'complete chaos'

CAIRO - Opposition groups accused the Egyptian government Wednesday of trying to draw out the process of amending the constitution after Vice President Omar Suleiman said the only way forward was through "dialogue" or a "coup."

9) The new White House seating chart

The post-election West Wing shake-up appears to be settling down. Now, when President Obama makes a left out of the Oval Office and heads down the hall, he's going to pass by a different - though hardly unfamiliar - group of senior aides.

10) Egypt's revolution to win or lose

Maybe America is finally learning about the limits of its influence abroad.

Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation(1): The Washington Post Afternoon Edition - Most read Opinion Columns

Washington Post

1) Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation

Did she just sell out her fellow progressives?

2) Egypt's revolution to win or lose

Maybe America is finally learning about the limits of its influence abroad.

3) The case for treating Super Bowl and science-fair winners differently

Why the Super Bowl gets more attention than science fair winners.

4) MTV's 'Skins' teaches teens some valuable lessons

Is it really 'the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children'?

5) The GOP's selective memory on Ronald Reagan

Republicans claim Reagan's mantle, but Democrats act almost like Reaganites.

6) Needed: New national security thinking

Mideast uprisings expose a web of tangled contradictions.

7) French-German bailout plan will test European unity

FRANCE AND GERMANY are emphatic: The fall of the single European currency would spell the end of United Europe and is therefore unthinkable. As French President Nicolas Sarkozy put it at the World Economic Summit in Davos , Switzerland: "The disappearance of the euro would be so cataclysmic that we...

8) Catholic Republicans' political beliefs, challenged by their faith

The Catholic tradition asserts the necessity of limited government.

9) Editorial: The Bernanke revolution?

Does Ben. S. Bernanke deserve the blame for Hosni Mubarak's plight?

10) Fix or repeal? Obama's health-care trap

The GOP is falling for a 'brilliant political maneuver.'

NYSE Euronext, Deutsche Boerse confirm advanced merger talks

By  Greg Morcroft

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — In the second dramatic development in the financial-exchange sector Wednesday, the storied New York Stock Exchange’s parent company said it is in advanced talks to merge with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse to create the world’s largest stock exchange.

Deutsche Boerse AG /quotes/comstock/11i!dboey (DBOEY 8.47, +0.65, +8.31%)   /quotes/comstock/11e!fdb1 (DE:DB1 58.42, +0.92, +1.60%)  and NYSE Euronext Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!nyx/quotes/nls/nyx (NYX 38.27, +4.86, +14.55%)  said in a statement that the merger, if consummated, would be an all-stock deal, creating the world’s largest exchange operator by revenue.
Shares of NYSE Euronext jumped more than 18% in midday trade on extremely heavy volume.
According to FactSet Research, more than 10 million NYSE shares traded hands by midday, against a daily average volume of 2.4 million. The last time the stock traded 10 million shares or more was two years ago, in February 2009.

For Full Story Click: 

Financials pulled down by AIG, Wells Fargo: MarketWatch- Financial Stoc

By John Spence, MarketWatch

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. financial sector was in the red Wednesday as bellwethers American International Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. dragged on the group.

For full story Click: 

Canada stocks slip; TMX Group rally on LSE merger. Marketwatch - Market Pulse

By Myra P. Saefong
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Canadian stocks traded modestly lower Wednesday as some mining stocks pulled back after gains a day earlier, but shares of TMX Group. Inc. /quotes/comstock/11t!e:x (CA:X 44.90, +4.62, +11.47%) rallied 11.7% after the U.K.'s London Stock Exchange Group PLC said it will by TMX in an all-stock deal that values TMX at around $3.2 billion. The S&P/TSX Composite Index.

To continue reading click: 

Financials lower as AIG, Wells Fargo slip | MarketWatch - Market Pulse

By John Spence

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund /quotes/comstock/13*!xlf/quotes/nls/xlf (XLF 16.85, -0.12, -0.71%) slipped 0.6% in early trading Wednesday. American International Group Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!aig/quotes/nls/aig (AIG 41.29, -1.08, -2.55%) declined nearly 3% after the insurance company said it plans to take a $4.1 billion charge in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wfc/quotes/nls/wfc (WFC 33.39, -0.71, -2.08%) shares were off about 2% following its announcement that Chief Financial Officer Howard Atkins was retiring for personal reasons.


Forex Market Update
Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 09:02

Economic News
French business managers expect their investment to increase by 14% this year compared to 2010, when they said investment decreased 2%, latest survey results from Insee showed Wednesday. Full Article
U.S. home loan demand fell last week as interest rates rose to their highest levels in ten months, according to the latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Full Article
The British economy is likely to grow slower than expected in 2011, the Confederation of British Industry said Wednesday. Full Article
Latvian economy logged its fastest expansion in three years during the fourth quarter, latest figures showed Wednesday. It was the second consecutive growth after nine quarters of contractions. Full Article
Japanese consumer sentiment improved for the first time in seven months in January, according to the results of a closely watched survey. Full Article
Forex Top Story
German exports rose for the second straight month in December, albeit at a slower than anticipated rate, while imports plunged unexpectedly, official data showed on Wednesday. Full Article
UK visible trade gap widened to a record high in December as the country imported more aircraft before the value added tax hike and partly due to the impact of bad weather. Full Article
Axel Weber is unlikely to seek a second term as the head of Bundesbank and may also pull out of the race to be the next European Central Bank President, news reports said Wednesday citing sources close to the German central bank. Full Article
Australian consumers' mood improved modestly in February as the country began rebuilding following the devastating floods in Queensland, a fresh survey suggested on Wednesday. Full Article
The price of gold was little changed above $1,360 Wednesday morning amid a slightly higher U.S. dollar. Full Article
The price of crude oil held steady above $87 Wednesday morning after API said U.S. crude oil inventories unexpectedly fell last week.Full Article
Political News
North and South Korea on Wednesday agreed in principle to restart bilateral talks on humanitarian issues even as their military dialogue broke down, it has been reported. Full Article
Federal Ministers in Pakistan have resigned en-masse to pave the way to downsize the Cabinet as part of austerity measures, reports said. Full Article
Myanmar's new President has formed a 30-member all-male Cabinet that consists of mostly retired military officers. Full Article
The United States has called upon Egyptian authorities to take steps for the early lifting of emergency laws in force there for the past 30 years, reports said. Full Article
The countries and organizations that witnessed the signing of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 have urged parties to the deal "to redouble their efforts to reach agreement on the outstanding CPA and post-referendum issues, with the facilitation of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel." Full Article
Analyst Currency Comments
Analysts at Westpac noted that the Asian FX market reaction to the Chinese rate hike on Tuesday was muted, but expect trading to be influenced by the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony before the House Budget Committee tonight and the Bank of England's monetary policy meeting tomorrow. Full Article
Currency Alerts
The British pound rallied against its major rivals in early European trading on Wednesday Full Article
Wednesday morning in Asia, the New Zealand dollar declined against other major currencies as Finance Minister Bill English said that a double-dip recession was "possible" in New Zealand as people were saving harder and cutting down on spending faster than expected.Full Article
During Asian deals on Wednesday, the Chinese yuan fell to a 1-week low against the US dollar as a report showed that China's service sector expanded at the slowest pace in four months in January. Full Article
In Asian deals on Wednesday, the euro climbed to near a 10-week high against the franc, 6-day high against the yen and a 2-day high against the NZ dollar on speculation the European Central Bank will raise interest rates in the near future after a surprise rate hike by the Chinese central bank yesterday. Full Article
General News
The United States has initiated process to remove the Sudanese government from its terrorism blacklist in recognition of the success of the Southern Sudan referendum. Full Article
Suspected Somali Pirates have seized a Greek supertanker carrying crude oil worth $200 million off the Omani coast, reports said on Wednesday. Full Article
A South Sudanese Minister was shot dead inside his Ministry building in the capital Juba on Wednesday, it has been reported. Full Article

Stocks May Open Lower Amid Light Economic Calendar - U.S. Commentary : Morning Market Briefing

Morning Market Briefing
Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 09:01

Stocks are poised for modest declines at the open on Wednesday, as traders are likely to pocket some profits amid a lack of significant economic news and after the major averages finished at multi-year highs yesterday. The major index futures are currently all in the red, with the Dow futures down by 14 points. Full Article
Economic News
Australian consumers' mood improved modestly in February as the country began rebuilding following the devastating floods in Queensland, a fresh survey suggested on Wednesday. Full Article
German exports rose for the second straight month in December, albeit at a slower than anticipated rate, while imports plunged unexpectedly, official data showed on Wednesday. Full Article
UK visible trade gap widened to a record high in December as the country imported more aircraft before the value added tax hike and partly due to the impact of bad weather. Full Article
Axel Weber is unlikely to seek a second term as the head of Bundesbank and may also pull out of the race to be the next European Central Bank President, news reports said Wednesday citing sources close to the German central bank. Full Article
U.S. home loan demand fell last week as interest rates rose to their highest levels in ten months, according to the latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Full Article
Earnings News
Insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG) said Wednesday that it expects to record a net charge of $4.1 billion in the fourth-quarter to strengthen loss reserves in its Chartis property and casualty insurance businesses. The strengthening is related to development during accident years 2005 and earlier. Full Article
Feb 9, 2011 Agrium Q4 Profit Soars
Agricultural products and services supplier Agrium Inc (AGU, AGU.TO) Wednesday reported a sharp increase in fourth-quarter, as crop nutrient sales nearly doubled on higher prices and nutrient volumes Full Article
Beverage maker The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) reported Wednesday a very sharp increase in fourth-quarter profit as revenues grew 45% and the company had a non-cash gain from the acquisition of North American operations of its bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises. Adjusted earnings matched analysts' estimates, while revenues surpassed. Full Article
IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE) announced Wednesday an 18% rise in fourth-quarter profit as revenues climbed 11% on higher transaction and clearing fees revenues. The results topped analysts' estimates. Full Article
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit slid 9% on an expected one-time charge. Sales also dipped 4% owing to fewer working days and lower volumes in some of the segments. The company provided 2011 financial outlook, which accounts for the spin-off of the shipbuilding segment. Full Article
The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) Tuesday said its first-quarter profit surged 54% from last year, with more people visiting its parks and resorts and its Media Networks segment earned more in advertising. Revenues increased 10% and topped estimates. Full Article
Healthcare information technology provider Cerner Corp. (CERN) reported Tuesday a higher fourth-quarter profit on increased demand driven by the stimulus and healthcare reform, and also new services. Quarterly revenues climbed 7%. Adjusted earnings beat estimates, but revenues missed. The company also issued a financial guidance for the first-quarter and full-year 2011. Full Article
Irish insurance and reinsurance company XL Group plc (XL) Tuesday announced a fourth-quarter profit, reversing from last year's loss, thanks to higher underwriting and premium income in the property & casualty segment along with lower catastrophic losses and claims paid. Full Article
Gaming software maker Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) reported Tuesday a marginally higher third-quarter profit, thanks to “strong” holiday sales and lower selling costs. The company now sees lower loss in the fourth quarter than anticipated earlier and it also lifted its full-year earnings guidance. Full Article
Mail processing equipment and software supplier Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit declined hurt by lower revenues and one-time charges. Adjusted earnings beat analysts' estimates while revenues were in line with the consensus. The company has issued its 2011 financial forecast, which sees revenues flat to up 3% from last year. Full Article
Life science tools developer Illumina Inc. (ILMN) Tuesday announced a more-than-two fold increase in fourth-quarter profit on a 45% growth in revenues and an acquisition-related gain. Adjusted earnings matched the Street view, while revenues exceeded expectations. The company also issued a financial guidance for fiscal 2011. Full Article
French biopharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis (SNY, SNYNF.PK) Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit plummeted 64% on higher restructuring charges. Revenues for the quarter rose only marginally, as last year's H1N1 vaccine sales did not repeat this year.Full Article
French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUGF.PK) reported Wednesday a return to profit in fiscal year 2010, thanks to an 8% increase in new car revenues on strong volumes, positive net prices and favorable currency movement. Full Article
Corporate News
London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSE.L) and TMX Group Inc. (X.TO) announced Wednesday an agreement by which the two stock exchange operators will merge in an all-share transaction. The merger is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year following completion. A closing date was not specified. Full Article
Todays WS Events
Feb 9, 2011 Microsoft To Present At Stifle Nicolaus Conference; Webcast At 11:35 AM ET
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) will present at Stifle Nicolaus Technology, Communications & Internet Conference. The event is schedule to begin at 11:35 AM ET, February 9, 2011. To access the live webcast, log on to
Feb 9, 2011 American Express Semi-Annual Financial Community Meeting At 2:30 PM ET
American Express Company (AXP) will host a Semi-Annual Financial Community Meeting on February 9, 2011. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM ET. To access the live webcast, log on to
Feb 9, 2011 Cisco Systems Q2 11 Earnings Conference Call At 4:30 PM ET
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) will host a conference call at 4:30 PM ET, February 9, 2011, to discuss its Q2 11 earnings result. To access the live webcast, log on to To participate in the call, dial 888-848-6507 (US) or 212-519-0847 (International). A replay of the call can be heard by dialing 866-357-4205 (US) or 203-369-0122(International).
Feb 9, 2011 Goldman Sachs Group To Present At Credit Suisse Forum; Webcast At 8:45 AM ET
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) will present at the 2011 Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum in Miami, Florida. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:45 PM ET on February 9, 2011. To access the live audio webcast, log on at
Feb 9, 2011 Coca-Cola Q4 10 Earnings Conference Call At 9:30 AM ET
The Coca-Cola Company (KO) will host a conference call at 9:30 AM ET on February 9, 2011, to discuss its Q4 10 earnings result. To access the live webcast, log on at
Feb 9, 2011 Computer Sciences Q3 11 Earnings Conference Call At 11:00 AM ET
Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) will host a conference call at 11:00 AM ET, to discuss Q3 11 earnings results, on February 9, 2011. To access the audio webcast, log on to To hear the live call, dial 888-312-3046 (US/Canada) or 719-325-2282 (International) with passcode 6914748. A replay of the call can be heard by dialing 888-203-1112 or 719-457-0820 (International) with passcode 6914748.