Commodities have hit a two year high as both silver and wheat lead the markets higher this morning. The M&A surge continued this morning as Vivendi (VIVEF.PK) agreed to acquire SFR and Minmetals Resources offered to buy Equinox Minerals (EQMIF.PK). Deal volume is now up 25% from last year at $630 billion. Traders are becoming more bullish on the US equity markets after Friday’s employment report.
The U.S. government is facing another potential shutdown deadline this week. The "battle" is down to $33 billion, a figure both sides are now targeting but can’t agree upon how to achieve. That $33 billion represents 0.7% of the annual budget. With a deficit estimated at $1.7 trillion and climbing, it is pretty discouraging to watch this battle knowing that they are trying to save pennies while they burn up hundred dollar bills. A House rule requires a bill to be posted 72 hours before a vote, which means any budget legislation would need to be posted by Tuesday.
Bloomberg is estimating that trading revenue on Wall Street will fall for the 4th straight quarter.
Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister said they are working with the EU to obtain better terms on its rescue package. "We are now in the process of negotiating a reduction in that interest rate."
After levying taxes on foreign capital flows, the Brazilian government is considering direct controls on capital inflows as a way to control the value of the Real. Discussions are ongoing.
A Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight headed for Sacramento had a hole blow open in its roof. Investigations have found at least three more 737’s in their fleet with stress fractures in the fuselage.
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. municipal bond issuance fell to its lowest levels since 2000. Most experts aren’t expecting a resurgence anytime soon due to a dearth of buyers.
Auto Nation’s (AN) CEO Mike Jackson said that auto production delays in Japan would begin to impact inventories around May, and the disruption could last through year end. Although 52% of the company’s sales are Japanese vehicles, nearly 70% of those are built in the U.S. Shortages of certain chemicals and CPU’s will curtail production.
The Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey of business sentiment fell to 6 (on a scale of 100) from 7. The survey measures confidence among the country’s largest manufacturers.
Commscore announced that smart-phones utilizing Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system occupy the leading market share with 33%.
President Obama officially launched his reelection campaign for the 2012 election. He is hoping to raise $1 billion for his effort.
Markets in Asian were strong last night except for South Korea’s Kospi, which declined 0.5% while markets in the rest of the region were up 0.3-0.5%. Sri Lanka may have been the best performing emerging market last year, rising 915.