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 17 points to 1,242
  • Europe: DJ Euro Stoxx 1.6%, FTSE 0.6%, CAC 1.0%, DAX 1.6%, Spain 0.7%, Italy 2.8%
  • Asia: Japan -2.9%, Hong Kong -5.2%, India -1.2%, Australia -2.3%
  • USD (DXY) down -0.61%
  • Gold up 0.11% to $1,771.9
  • Silver up 0.28% to $34.2
  • Copper down -1.48% to $339.0
  • Crude up 1.74% to $97.4
  • Corn up 0.57% to 659.8
  • Wheat up 0.08% to $643.5
  • 10yr Treasury yields are up, trading at 2.05%
  • S&P current trading at 12.41x current year P/E

Today’s Top Stories:

  • Israel May Strike Iran Next Month: Israel will launch military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon as soon as Christmas, intelligence chiefs have warned http://bit.ly/rXeZBa
  • GS & MS Becoming More “Traditional” Banks: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, which became bank-holding companies to help them survive the financial crisis, are considering an accounting change that would make them look even more like a traditional bankhttp://on.wsj.com/seAcOg
  • Budget Committee Talks Collapse: Latest update on the lack of progress for Dems and Republicans to reach a tax deal. Yesterday Democrats of the Super Committee rejected Republicans’ offer to “raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade.”http://bit.ly/rNmbRC
  • Greece Unemployment Rate: Greece’s unemployment rate rose to 18.4% in Aug, up from 16.5% in July (Dow Jones)
  • Alabama County Files for Bankruptcy: Jefferson County, Ala., which owes more than $3 billion on a failed sewer deal, filed Wednesday for what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history after a tentative rescue plan with creditors unraveled http://on.wsj.com/uKjtaO
  • Hedge Fund Significantly Underperform October: Hedge funds returned +1.29% for the month compared to the S&P performance of +10.77%, this indicates that hedge funds have been underexposed to the equity market during the rally http://bit.ly/sDBltH
  • CS on Europe: “The political situation is evolving fast. PM Berlusconi pledged that he will resign after the package of growth-friendly measures agreed with the EU are approved by parliament. This should now be fast-tracked to Saturday. In the short term, this decision should be positive for markets. The current situation, with markets severely impaired, is not sustainable. In this respect, aggressive policy action in Italy and correspondingly, in our view, ECB intervention is necessary to stabilize markets. We believe the latter is also likely and warranted once measures are passed in the Italian Parliament this Saturday” (Credit Suisse Research)

Economic Calendar:

  • Thursday: Import Price Index, Trade Balance, Initial Jobless Claims, Monthly Budget Statement
  • Friday: U. of Mich Confidence

M&A Watch:

  • Regions said to resume talks with Stifel over Morgan Keegan (BBG)
  • Alibaba, Softbank said to seek partners for Yahoo purchase (BBG)
  • Goldman said to sell stake in ICBC for $1.1b (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.