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:

  • Spain Needing Assistance: Expansion reported that Spanish PM Rajoy is considering applying for loans from the EU’s rescue fund and the IMF (BBG)
  • Goldman 5 Questions for 2012: Goldman’s Global Strategy Research team is out with an interesting note. The article focuses on discussing what they believe to be the 5 most important questions facing the US economy for 2012 http://bit.ly/tPnkte
  • Romney Takes Iowa: The former Pennsylvania senator, derided or ignored by much of the media and close to broke for much of the year, managed to fight to a virtual tie with the national frontrunner and fundraising leader in one of the closest GOP caucus finishes in yearshttp://politi.co/wEAelN
  • Tech Earnings Pre-announcements: Tuesday night NATI and APKT both cut their outlooks
  • CA High Speed Train Hits Roadblock: California’s ambitious plan for a high-speed rail system hit a big roadblock Tuesday, as an independent panel urged lawmakers to deny authorizing the issuance of $2.7 billion in bonds to kick off the $98.5 billion project http://on.wsj.com/zB6VJp
  • Greenspan on Welfare: “the welfare state in the US has run up against a brick wall of economic reality and fiscal book-keeping” (FT)
  • Bring Back Boring Banks: Governments must fully guarantee all bank deposits http://nyti.ms/xV4Xrf
  • Hussman Funds on Market: John P. Hussman, PhD, is out with his weekly commentary and starts the new year with the same market perspective that has lingered in 2011 http://bit.ly/w504hV
  • New Yahoo CEO: may name new CEO this morning. (Paypal president Scott Thompson a leading candidate)
  • Jefferies Comp Problems: WSJ says that JEF prime-brokerage employees are threatening to leave over restructuring comp issues
  • New Computers: HPQ plans to release a pair of desktop PCs, including all-in-one for families
  • 55,000 New Jobs Created: Small businesses created 55,000 new jobs in December and employees worked more hours and made more money (Intuit)
  • Blackstone’s Bryan Wien’s On Market: Byron Wien recently published his throughts on the global economy by saying, “On both sides of the Atlantic, we have finally come to the point where if we continue on our present respective paths the outcome is not likely to be pleasanthttp://bit.ly/xwF757
  • New Merchant Center at GRPN: Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) today announced the release of its new Merchant Center, giving merchants a comprehensive view of performance across feature deals, Groupon Now! and Groupon Rewards

Economic Calendar:

  • Sale Store Sales on Thursday: “We expect Dec to be strong, driven by easier comps, aggressive promos, and strong post-Christmas demand; We favor LTD, also ROST, ARO, URBN, TJX; GPS could be weak” (UBS Research)

M&A Watch:

  • Regions Financial has reportedly ended negotiations to sell its Morgan Keegan brokerage to Stifel Financial Corp, as the two sides weren’t able to come to an agreement over the terms of the deal
  • TOT buys $2.3B Utica shale stake from CHK
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.
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