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

Morning Market Levels:

  • S&P futures are up 2 points to 1,237
  • Europe: DJ Euro Stoxx -0.2%, FTSE 0.4%, CAC -0.1%, DAX 0.2%, Spain -0.2%, Italy -0.9%
  • Asia: Japan 1.9%, Hong Kong 4.1%, India 0.9%, Australia 2.7%
  • USD (DXY) up 0.02%
  • Gold up 0.97% to $1,657.9
  • Silver up 0.76% to $31.6
  • Copper up 3.26% to $332.8
  • Crude up 0.65% to $88.1
  • Corn up 1.58% to 659.5
  • Wheat up 1.70% to $642.8
  • 10yr Treasury yields are up, trading at 2.22%
  • S&P current trading at 12.47x current year P/E

Today’s Top Stories:

  • Hedge Fund Turbulence: After a turbulent 10 months, hedge funds are bracing to hear whether jittery investors will want their money backhttp://on.wsj.com/qElNu3
  • Biglari creates activist website: Sadar’s Biglari Holdings has created a public website as he tries to educate shareholders on his actions against the Board and the Management team http://bit.ly/qmgZqr
  • Obama starts new economic tour: With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act http://nyti.ms/pyBsG7
  • Private Equity Deal Update: PE deal flow during the last 3 months was slower when compared to the first half of 2012 http://bit.ly/qIiDSI
  • Another U.S. Credit Downgrade: The United States will likely suffer the loss of its triple-A credit rating from another major rating agency by the end of this year due to concerns over the deficit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts http://bit.ly/qhVAvw
  • U.S. pulling out of Iraq: On Friday, President Obama vowed to pull all US troops from Iraq this year http://on.wsj.com/oDYB2o
  • Rhode Island’s Pension Problem: ON the night of Sept. 8, Gina M. Raimondo, a financier by trade, rolled up here with news no one wanted to hear: Rhode Island, she declared, was going broke http://nyti.ms/p776PO
  • U.S. Earnings Season: “3Q 2011 reporting season establishes a new high in S&P 500 operating EPS but investors are underwhelmed with how we got here. The percentage of firms posting positive EPS surprises is below the historical average, Financials’ beat includes one-time items, many companies cite slowing end-market demand, and 2012 EPS estimates have been revised lower’ (Goldman Research)
  • AAPL TV: Washington Post reports that Steve Jobs biography suggests AAPL has a stand alone TV in the works
  • NFLX Expansion: Netflix plans to expand to UK, Ireland in early 2012

M&A Watch:

  • ORCL to buy RNOW for $1.5bn
  • Cigna to buy HealthSpring for $3.8bn, $55-shr (37% premium to Fri. close); approved by both boards, seen closing 1H 2012
  • Healthcare: FT reports that China Mengniu Dairy (2319 HK) is considering a bid for PFE’s baby food unit
  • WSJ reports GOOG talks to private equity firms about a potential bid for YHOO