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:

  • Job Cuts Coming for Cowen IBD: Cowen is about to cut $40mn in expenses over the coming months in order to get the investment banking division to breakeven, expect more investment banking job cuts as we enter the new yearhttp://bit.ly/t8il4j
  • Update on Europe: Merkel intimated there would be no more Eurozone summits in 2011 but the coming days/weeks could wind up bringing more news.  We are waiting for specifics on how the ECB will help get the EFSF up and running.  Also, within the next ten days officials will detail how Europe’s central banks will make bilateral loans to the IMF
  • CBRL and BH Fued Continues: Cracker Barrel’s management and Board have responded to Biglari’s proxy statement stating that Biglari has a track record of NOT creating shareholder value at his past investment in Steak N’ Shake http://bit.ly/sSBCXZ
  • CA Faces More Spending Cuts: California Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday the state must make $981 million in midyear budget cuts, the latest fiscal blow to the nation’s most populous statehttp://on.wsj.com/sVBvyJ
  • The Economic & Financial Backdrop: For months, global asset markets have been driven by an overriding tension between a fraught economic context – with a lackluster base case and substantial downside risks – that is offset by correspondingly gloomy market sentiment and defensive positioning http://bit.ly/uaI7Eh
  • Newt Surges Past Romney: Republican voters now heavily favor Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney as the party’s nominee, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, but the poll also found deep unease with Mr. Gingrich among independents and swing voters who normally decide presidential elections http://on.wsj.com/unpinR
  • Private Equity Job Market Outlook: Outlook for the private equity job recruitment and compensation for 2011 and over the next coming quarters http://bit.ly/tjOyFs
  • Barclays Initiate on Groupon at $27: GRPN: initiate with 1-OW. 12-month target of $27.  Groupon cracked the code, in our opinion. While much execution lies ahead in order to meet expectations, the opportunity is large and Groupon has competitive advantages (Barclays Research)

Economic Calendar:

  • Wednesday: Import Price Index
  • Thursday: PPI, Empire Manf., Philly Fed, Initial Jobless Claims, IP, Current Account Balance
  • Friday: CPI

M&A Watch:

  • The Coca-Cola Co agreed to acquire a minority stake in Aujan Industries Co LLC Beverage Operations/ from Aujan Industries Co LLC
  • Tox Free Solutions Ltd agreed to acquire MMS Enterprises (Qld) Pty Ltd for AUD3.9 million (US$3.9 million) in cash
  • Polo Resources Ltd agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Nimini Holdings Ltd, which it did not already own, for SLL39. 3 billion(US$9 million) in cash

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.