Every morning the Street of Walls team puts out an update on market levels, today’s top stories, and active M&A deals.

Morning Market Levels:

  • S&P futures are up 11 points to 1,209
  • Europe: DJ Euro Stoxx 1.0%, FTSE 1.2%, CAC 1.2%, DAX 1.0%, Spain 0.1%, Italy 1.9%
  • Asia: Japan -0.9%, Hong Kong -1.4%, India 1.2%, Australia -0.9%
  • USD (DXY) down -0.21%
  • Gold up 0.81% to $1,682.7
  • Silver up 1.74% to $32.4
  • Copper up 2.87% to $340.5
  • Crude up 1.85% to $85.8
  • Corn up 0.63% to 642.3
  • Wheat up 1.25% to $625.8
  • 10yr Treasury yields are up, trading at 2.24%
  • S&P current trading at 12.06x current year P/E

Today’s Top Stories:

  • Housing & Mortgages: Freddie and Fannie looking to do a new pilot program without federal government guarantee http://on.wsj.com/nfN23y
  • Icahn Buys NAV: Carl Icahn disclosed a 9.8% ownership in Navistar International’s (NYSE:NAV) common shares http://bit.ly/qJqq64
  • Defense Spending: Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl last month threatened to quit the supercommittee if defense programs are faced with more cuts. Now, fellow Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is vowing to “nullify” part of a law that would impose major military cuts if the deficit panel can’t reach a deal http://politi.co/puYkQc
  • Goldman Cutting 230 Bankers: Goldman just filed to cut up to 230 “financial” employees between now and 3/31/2012 http://bit.ly/nBGhiD
  • Strong Tech Earnings this week: we have seen better than expected earnings so far this week out of ASML, INFY, GOOG, and FCS
  • Poor Income Outlook: “Americans’ incomes have dropped since 2000 and they aren’t expected to make up the lost ground before 2021” http://on.wsj.com/qN0L3p
  • Bank Layoffs could top 100k: The layoff plan brings staff cuts announced this year or reported to be in the works at U.S. and European banks to just over 100,000 http://bit.ly/q8t5aB
  • GOOG Earnings: “Google reported a better-than-expected Q3 with both revenue and EPS coming in well ahead of consensus. The upside came from Google’s sites, strong YouTube, and the ongoing ramp in mobile advertising. Google cited some ad softness in Europe but not enough to slow down their growth” (Wells Fargo Research)
  • Vehicle Sales: “Vehicles sales have increased at a healthy pace over the last two years despite a weak household sector and a tepid recovery overall. What explains the steady growth in vehicle sales since the recession ended? Based on the composition of sales, the main factor appears to be business investment spending” (Goldman Research)

Economic Calendar:

  • Friday: Import Price Index, Retail Sales, U. of Mich Confidence

M&A Watch:

  • Transatlantic, circled by 5 suitors this yr including Berkshire, needs to demand $1b windfall to ensure shareholders aren’t stuck with industry’s cheapest deal (BBG)
  • Pepsi may enter JV with German dairy maker Theo Muller to sell yogurt in U.S. (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs on way to taking top spot among advisers on Japanese takeovers for 1st time in 5 yrs, supplanting Nomura (BBG)
Disclosure: I do not have a position in any stocks mentioned in this article, do not have a plan to initiate a position within the next 72 hours.
Disclaimer:  The information, opinions, material, and any other content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not to be used or considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities, investment products, financial instruments, or to participate in any particular investment strategy. The information, opinions, material, and any other content provided in this article does not constitute as a recommendation or as advice to buy or sell securities, investment products,  financial instruments, or to participate in any particular investment strategy.