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

Today’s Top Stories:

  • ECP President Interview w/ FT: the ECB president warned of the severe economic pain that would face any country that decided to leave the eurozone, arguing for the present EMU to stay intact and work through the present crisis (FT)
  • Adage Adds WRC: Adage Capital Partners disclosed that it holds 5.41% of the outstanding common stock of Warnaco Group (NYSE:WRC)http://bit.ly/rK8BUH
  • Apple Plots TV Assault: In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies, according to people familiar with the matterhttp://on.wsj.com/uLGXv9
  • States Tailor HC Plans: In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said Friday that it would not define a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categorieshttp://nyti.ms/u5Vift
  • Continued Problems at Credit Agricole: Over the last few days, Credit Agricole has been releasing bad news related to its business outlookhttp://bit.ly/uML1op
  • Fortress CEO Stepping Down: Dan Mudd may wind up stepping down as CEO at Fortress due to the recent lawsuit filed against him by the government over his role at Fannie (CNBC)
  • Wells Buys IBD Boutique: Wells Fargo and EverKey Global Partners announced that they have signed a deal for WFC to acquire the boutique investment bank http://bit.ly/rARtAs
  • RBS Shrinking IBD By 50%: RBS may wind up shrinking its investment by as much as 50%, cutting the balance sheet from GBP450B down to GBP200B.  The unit’s 18,900 employees have been warned to expect large cuts http://tgr.ph/sa8gbf
  • CS To Cut Bonus Pool By 50%: Credit Suisse will cut its bonus pool by 40% (Reuters)
  • REITs 2012 Outlook: “Investors enter 2012 against a continued uncertain macro backdrop.  The REIT sector is positioned to continue to benefit from several key tailwinds – albeit not as strong as they were in 2011 – with reasonable and growing dividends, better balance sheets, a low cost of capital, solid earnings growth drivers and a backdrop of low new supply.  We are inititiating a flat to +10% total return outlook for 2012.  Stock pickers market in REITs.  Sector basis: Overweight multi family & Lodging.  Underweight office and shopping centers” (Citi Research)

Economic Calendar:

  • Monday: NAHB Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday: Housing Starts, Building Permits
  • Wednesday: Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday: Chicago Fed Survey, GDP, Personal Consumption, Initial Jobless Claims, U. of Mich Confidence, Leading Indicators, House Price Index
  • Friday: Durable Goods Orders, Personal Income, New Home Sales

M&A Watch:

  • Weekly M&A Trends: M&A volumes declined by 13% to $25.7bn, so far 4Q 2011 M&A volumes are averaging 14% below 3Q 2011 volumeshttp://bit.ly/t5PKot
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