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J.C. Penney shares soar following earnings report. J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) swung to a net profit of $35M in Q4 from a loss of $552M a year earlier, although revenue fell 2.6% to $3.78B and missed consensus. Adjusted losses per share were $0.68 and were better than expected by $0.17. Same-store sales rose 2% in Q4 as JCP's online business showed strength. The retailer forecast that comparable sales will grow in the mid-single digits in 2014 while it said that it will also enjoy "significant" margin expansion. Shares surged 17.45% premarket.

Tesla raising debt, investing $2B in gigafactory. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and its partners plan to spend $4B-5B over the next six years on a "gigafactory" that will produce batteries for the company's electric vehicles. Tesla itself will invest $2B and it is raising $1.6B of convertible debt to help fund the plant. The facility will produce enough batteries to supply 500,000 vehicles by 2020, with output exceeding total 2013 global battery production. Tesla's shares were +4% premarket.

Ukraine: Gunmen storm government buildings in Crimea. Gunmen have seized government buildings in Ukraine's Crimea region and replaced the country's national flag with the Russian one. Ukraine's provisional authorities are taking measures "to counter extremist actions," and have warned Russian forces in Crimea not to leave their naval base. The latest developments follow saber rattling from Russia yesterday. Meanwhile, deposed Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych has resurfaced and has been given Russian protection.

Top Stock News
RBS's net losses widen to £9B. RBS's (NYSE:RBS) net losses deepened to £9B from £6.06B a year earlier, hurt by the setting aside of £3.8B for compensating clients for the mis-selling of products, and £4.8B of other impairments and provisions. Revenue dipped 12% to £19.44B. RBS intends to slash £5B ($8.34B) of costs during the next five years and cut jobs as part of a restructuring in which it will refocus on its U.K. activities and merge seven units into three. Shares were -6.8% premarket.

Global stocks mixed ahead of Yellen testimony. Asian shares mainly rose but European equities and U.S. stock futures were lower at the time of writing following the events in Ukraine and ahead of testimony from Fed Chair Janet Yellen in the Senate later today. A main focus is on whether recent soft economic data in the U.S., which has been attributed to the severe winter weather, has had any affect on the Fed's tapering timetable.

Blackstone buys 20% in Versace for €210M. Blackstone (NYSE:BX) has agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Gianni Versace for €210M in a deal that values the Italian fashion house at €1B. Blackstone will inject €150M of new capital into Versace and purchase €60M in stock from the family holding company, GIVI Holding. The firm intends to use the money to open stores internationally, and to widen its ranges of clothing and accessories.

Boeing designs self-destructing smartphone. Boeing (NYSE:BA) has unveiled an Android-based secure smartphone for defense and security customers that, in shades of "Mission Impossible," will effectively self-destruct if anybody tries to tamper with it - attempts to open the casing will result in the deletion of all data and will make the device inoperable.

Biomet eyes $1B+ IPO - Reuters. Medical-device maker Biomet has hired underwriters to help carry out an IPO that could take place in H1 and raise over $1B, Reuters reports. The listing would come seven years after Biomet was taken private for $11.4B. Its owners are Blackstone (BX), Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) private-equity arm, KKR (NYSE:KKR) and TPG Capital. Biomet's adjusted net profit rose 46% to $368M in FY 2013 as revenue increased 8% to $3B.

Telefonica Q4 earnings top forecasts as net profit triples. Telefonica's (NYSE:TEF) Q4 net profit more than tripled to €1.45B ($1.98B) from €473M a year earlier, when earnings were hit by hefty write-downs. The latest figure topped consensus of €1.16B. Sales declined 8.9% to €14.43B vs expectations of €14.3B, with the fall partly due to revenue lost from asset sales and to currency fluctuations in Latin America. Telefonica's earnings come after it yesterday unveiled a €1.5B cost-savings program.

Top Economic & Other News
German jobless rate unchanged in February. Germany's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has held steady at 6.8% in February, as expected. The number of people out of work fell by 24,000 to 2.914M, the lowest since September 2012. "For 2014, a tightening German labor market raises our expectations that wages are also going to increase, which should feed through to higher consumption," says Christian Schulz at Berenberg Bank. "(That) should allow Germany to rely on domestic demand for growth in 2014 as exports may face some pressure due to the emerging-market crisis."


Top Ideas: Movers and Great Calls
1) On January 30, Shaun Currie, CFA, said short- and long-term estimates were too low for Fiesta Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FRGI) following a secondary offering and amid industry-leading growth. After strong gains in the wake of earnings yesterday, shares are +18.3% since Currie's call. Read article »
2) Buysider Logical Thought called out drug-development company Pain Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTIE) in November, seeing risk-adjusted upside in the company's flagship drug Remoxy. The stock is +48.8% to date. Read article »

Top Ideas To Watch
1) The recovery of loss reserves and sizable net operating loss carryforwards provide upside for Ambac Financial (NASDAQ:AMBC), writes Alpha Gen Capital. Read article »
2) Buysider Igor Novgorodtsev says civil-engineering firm Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL) deserves another chance, as new management and the expiration of low-margin projects could point to a bottom in the stock. Read article »

Top Ideas are the best long and short ideas on Seeking Alpha. SA PRO subscribers receive early access to these Top Ideas, which often move markets. For more information about SA PRO and becoming a subscriber, click here.


Today's Markets:
In Asia, Japan -0.3% to 14923. Hong Kong +1.7% to 22830. China +0.3% to 2047. India closed.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -1.5%.
Futures at 6:20: Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.3%. Crude -0.1% to $102.48. Gold +0.4% to $1333.10.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -2 bps to 2.65%

Today's economic calendar:
8:30 Durable Goods
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims
9:45 Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
10:00 Yellen testimony before Senate Banking Committee
10:30 EIA Natural Gas Inventory
11:00 Kansas City Fed Mfg Survey
1:00 PM Results of $29B, 7-Year Note Auction
4:30 PM Money Supply
4:30 PM Fed Balance Sheet

Notable earnings before today's open: ACAD, ALKS, AMCX, ANSS, BBEP, BBY, BDBD, CECO, CHS, CIE, CNSL, CQB, CWH, DANG, DATE, DYN, EPL, FIG, FRO, FWLT, GCAP, GTI, HII, IQNT, IRDM, ITC, KSS, LAMR, LKQ, LPI, LTXC, LXU, MYL, NRF, NTI, NTLS, NXTM, OCN, PLL, PQ, RDC, RTI, SFY, SNAK, SRE, SRPT, TD, VAC, VRX, WAC, WEN, WIN, WNR, WPX, YRCW

Notable earnings after today's close: ACAD, AHT, AIRM, AL, ALIM, AMRN, APEI, ARNA, ATLS, AVD, BAGL, BCEI, BID, BIO, CEMP, CHUY, CLNE, CRM, DCO, DECK, ELGX, EPR, EVC, GPS, HALO, HTGC, KBR, KOG, LINE, MDVN, MELI, MENT, MNST, MTZ, NGD, NMBL, NOG, OLED, OVTI, PKT, PODD, REGI, ROST, SD, SFM, SLXP, SPLK, SPNC, SQNM, SWN, TESO, TUMI, UHS, WES, WG, WTR, XTEX, YOKU

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Source: Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News