Oil above $50, energy stocks rebound
Tuesday has started on a positive note with world markets gaining as oil prices edge above $50. Asian indexes have closed largely higher as concern over slower economic growth was tempered by rebounding energy stocks and Australia’s central bank cutting interest rates to a record low, which saw the country’s stock market hit its highest mark since 2008. Energy and mining stocks improved in Europe in early trading and there is also a more positive tone on the Greek debt situation with more productive talks underway. US stock futures are higher; oil is trending higher along with gold.
Motor Vehicle Sales
Factory Orders at 10.00am ET
Aetna, Universal and Walt Disney are among those reporting earnings today.
Alibaba wants to lend money to US businesses
A new partnership between ecommerce giant Alibaba and the online Lending Club will see loans being made to US firms of up to $300,000 to use on purchases from suppliers in China. Monthly interest rates will be between 0.5 and 2.4 per cent.
Super Bowl audience breaks record
This year’s Super Bowl audience reached a record high, averaging 114.4 million viewers, NBC has announced. That beats last year’s 112.2 million and maintains the event’s place as the most watched US TV broadcast ever. The peak on Sunday was in the final minutes of the game as 120.8 million watched the Patriots steal a victory. NBC’s online stream peaked at 1.3 million.
S&P reaches deal over inflated mortgage ratings
Standard & Poor’s has reached a settlement with the Californian public pension system Calpers over inflated ratings for residential mortgage deals. The fund filed a lawsuit against S&P, Fitch and Moody’s. Fitch has already settled while the investigation against Moody’s is ongoing. The S&P settlement is believed to be $125 million.
Gartman gives his opinion on the President’s budget
Influential investor Dennis Gartman has been speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box following the unveiling of President Obama’s budget proposals yesterday. Gartman said it was a very middle-ground budget from a left-leaning president but says it, along with the 39 others he’s seen is “dead on arrival”. He says the process of the budget proposal, discussion and eventual consensus is an annual ‘pantomime’. Gartman believes that the notion that the wealthiest pay little tax while middle-earners carry the burden is wrong. He also warns that wage increases may not happen for some time due to cheaper labor from overseas.
Radio Shack shares suspended
The New York Stock Exchange has suspended trading of Radio Shack’s shares due to its lower-than-required market valuation. CNN reports that the firm has only $43 million in cash, less than the $50 million required under NYSE rules. Radio Shack is trying to reduce operating costs but is struggling to fund the closure of stores due to the expense of lease settlements and severance payments.
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