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:

  • Wall Street Pay Cut: A dismal year means Wall Street is about to take a big hit to its wallethttp://on.wsj.com/y94Mi8
  • S&P Earnings: S&P500 earnings growth forecasts have been cut in half for Q4, from ~14.5% back in Oct to now 7.2%
  • Tremblant Buys SODA: NY-based Tremblant Capital has disclosed that it owns 9.79% of the outstanding common stock of SodaStream International (Nasdaq:SODA), or 1,948,871 common shares. SodaStream is “the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of Home Carbonation Systems http://bit.ly/x7wnie
  • Losing Faith on Greece: The International Monetary Fund is losing confidence in Greece’s ability to clean up its public finances and work off its mountain of debt, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturdayhttp://bit.ly/AxdRlb
  • Icahn Sends Letter to OSK Shareholders: Carl Icahn today issued the following open letter to shareholders of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) http://bit.ly/zeqifi
  • US Banks Report Card Due: US banks have to submit their tests to the Fed by 1/9 and the Fed will respond back by 3/1
  • Gaming in Florida: As the Florida Legislature sprints into action on Tuesday for its annual two-month session, lawmakers will face the politically volatile task of redrawing the electoral map (sure to attract a court challenge) and devising new ways to plug a $2 billion deficit in the state budget http://nyti.ms/zbrUS6
  • 2011 Multiple Contraction: UBS is out with a really interesting note about the 2011 multiple contraction and 2012 EPS earnings.   2011 was the year of multiple contraction with the S&P falling from 13.1x earnings in 2010 to 11.7x in 2011 http://bit.ly/zb43Ux
  • RBS IBD Restructuring: “IB restructuring is likely to be an ongoing theme for the UK banking sector with regulation and ICB remaining an overhang on returns” (JPM)
  • RBS Merger: Global banking and markets (GBM), the division housing RBS’s risky investment banking activities, is expected to be merged with global transaction services (GTS), one of the lender’s safest and most profitable businesses http://tgr.ph/yxuIEU
  • BAC Layoffs: is cutting around a fifth of its managing directors across Asia, sources said on Monday (Reuters)

M&A Watch:

  • PE Deals of the Week: The Gores Group, a leading LA-based private equity firm, announced that through an affiliate it has signed an agreement to acquire The Hay Group http://bit.ly/ApTlXr
  • Weekly M&A Update: M&A volumes decline by over 50% while equity underwriting saw some improvement http://bit.ly/xgT4fL
  • Regions Deal: RF is close to a deal to sell its Morgan Keegan unit for between $900M-1B to either RJF or SF
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.

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