Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

by: Rachael Granby
Rachael Granby
Seeking Alpha's flagship daily business news summary, gives you a rapid overview of the day's key financial news. It is published before 7:00 AM ET every market day and delivered to over 900,000 email subscribers.

  • G-20 sets deficit targets. Calling the global recovery "uneven and fragile," G-20 leaders agreed to specific deficit reduction targets, with advanced economies aiming to at least halve their deficits by 2013 and stabilize their debt-to-output ratios by 2016. Participants also agreed to pursue higher capital standards for banks once the economic recovery is firmly underway. Analysts weren't wholly impressed, noting it could be years before new capital rules go into effect and efforts to find a compromise between austerity measures and continued stimulus resulted in "a multi-purpose recipe with no enforcement mechanism.” The IMF suggested that deeper cuts now would lead to higher long-term growth.
  • Sen. Robert Byrd dies at 92. Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, died this morning at the age of 92, after 51 years of service in the Senate. Democrats had been counting on Byrd to help secure the 60 votes necessary to approve financial reform legislation; if Sen. Scott Brown votes against the bill, as he suggested this weekend that he might, Democrats will be one vote short of closing debate and moving to final passage.
  • BP costs hit $100M per day. BP's (NYSE:BP) cleanup and containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico are now costing the company $100M a day, with total expenditures at $2.65B and rising. BP executives, government officials and meteorologists are all keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Alex, which has regained strength in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and could become this year’s first Atlantic hurricane within 48 hours, wreaking havoc on BP's containment efforts. Gulf Coast states are considering filing major claims against BP, and lawyers advising the states said they will ultimately seek multi-billion dollar payouts, eclipsing the $305M BP has thus far paid out to affected states. Meanwhile, concerns have arisen that the two relief wells BP is drilling may not work on their first attempt, leading to unanticipated delays in the containment process. Premarket: BP +5.4% (7:00 ET).
  • Greece to return to financial markets. Greece is set to return to financial markets next month with plans to raise around €4B ($4.9B). It will be the country's first borrowing attempt since being bailed out by the EU and IMF; the move is a potentially risky one, since a poor auction could hit sentiment hard.
  • Boeing gets a boost from Air China order. Boeing (NYSE:BA) gets some good news for a change, with the announcement that Air China will buy 20 of Boeing's 777-800 planes for $1.4B. Boeing was most recently in the news for discovering a problem in its fleet of Dreamliner test planes.
  • Valspar buys Wattyl. Paint and coatings company Valspar (NYSE:VAL) agreed to buy Australian paint maker Wattyl for around A$142M ($124M). The deal will help Valspar expand its presence in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Infineon, Sistema not in talks. Germany's Infineon (OTCQX:IFNNY) said it's not in talks with Russian conglomerate Sistema. Earlier media reports had indicated that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were pressuring German Chancellor Angela Merkel to let Sistema take a 29% stake in the semiconductor maker.
  • Israel's MA buys Albaugh. Israel's MA Industries (OTC:MAIXY) is buying privately-held U.S. firm Albaugh for around $1B. The move will bolster MA's position in the Americas and solidify its standing as the world's biggest generic agrochemical maker. The two companies combined would have had sales of $3.1B in 2009.
  • Friday's failures. Three more bank closures on Friday brought this year's total failures to 86 so far. The closures in Florida, Georgia and New Mexico are expected to cost the FDIC's insurance fund $284.6M.

Today's Markets

  • In Asia, Japan -0.5% to 9694. Hong Kong +0.2% to 20727. China -0.7% to 2535. India +1.1% to 17774.
  • In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
  • Futures: Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. Nasdaq +0.2%. Crude -0.8% to $78.23. Gold +0.3% to $1259.80.

Monday's Economic Calendar

Seeking Alpha's Market Currents team contributed to this post.

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