market update

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:

  • Buffett’s Gold View: “this type of investment requires an expanding pool of buyers who are enticed because they believe the buying pool will expand still further”
  • Greece Update: A meeting between Greece’s major political principals broke up Wed w/o a deal on troika demands being reached although negotiations are still continuing and there aren’t many areas of disagreement left
  • Obama Reassures Wall Street: Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, was recently in NYC assuring a group of financial services reps that the industry wasn’t going to be demonized during this upcoming election season
  • Fed Lacker Says No More QE: Fed’s Lacker says the economy is picking up steam and he doesn’t see a rationale for more QE (DJ)
  • HSBC Insurance Up for Bid: both AXA and ACE are bidding for HSBC’s $1B general insurance business
  • Franklin Resources (BEN) Reported: reported preliminary month-end assets under management by the company’s subsidiaries of $704.3 billion at January 31, 2012, compared to $670.3 billion at December 31, 2011, and $681.0 billion at January 31, 2011
  • Foreclosure Probe: Article in today’s WSJ titled “$25 Billion Pact on Foreclosure Probe” saying government officials are on the verge of an agreement worth as much as $25bn with 5 major banks, capping a yearlong push to settle federal and state probes of alleged foreclosure abuses by lenders (WSJ)
  • Nuclear Reators: Southern Co. gets regulator vote on bid for first permission in 30 years to build nuclear reactors in Georgia
  • ECB Rate Update: Bank of England, ECB issue rate decisions; both estimated to keep rates unchanged
  • DMND Collapses: Diamond Foods ouster of CEO, CFO, restatement of financial data, imperil Pringles deal with P&G
  • CS 4Q Results: Credit Suisse, the Swiss Investment Bank, posts unexpected 4Q loss, hurt by “adverse” markets and reorganization costs

Economic Calendar:

  • 6:30am: OPEC monthly crude output report
  • 7:45am: ECB announces rate decision, est. 1%, unchanged
  • 8:30am: Initial jobless claims, week of Feb. 4, est. 370k (prior 367k)
  • 8:30am: WASDE
  • 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, week of Feb. 5 (prior -44.8)
  • 10am: Freddie Mac 30-yr mortgage
  • 10am: Wholesale Inventories, Dec., est. 0.4% (prior 0.1%)
  • 10:30am: EIA natural gas storage
  • 1pm: U.S. to sell $16b 30-yr bonds

M&A Watch:

  • Weekly M&A Trends: This week saw some big jumps in Debt underwriting and M&A activity. Announcedinvestment banking M&A increased +22% from the prior week to $34bn, M&A volumes are still very low for the start of the year
  • Westfield is expected to gain approval from the Port Authority for a 50% stake in the World Trade Center’s retail space valued at $1.225bn
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.