By Yigal Grayeff and the Market Currents team
Jerry Yang leaves Yahoo. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) founder Jerry Yang, who has faced intense investor pressure, has resigned from its board and all other positions with the beleaguered company. The move could give new CEO Scott Thompson a freer hand to sell the Internet portal's lucrative Asian assets. Four other board member will reportedly follow Yang out the door, including possibly Chairman Roy Bostock.
IMF seeks to boost firepower by $500B. The IMF reportedly sees a $1T financing gap over the next two years and is seeking to raise its lending resources by $500B in order to have the firepower to cope with any worsening of the EU debt crisis. The organization is pushing China, Brazil, Russia, India, Japan and oil-exporting nations to be the top contributors, although whether they want to bail out rich Europe is the major question.
Greece to resume debt talks. Greece and its private creditors are due to restart talks today over a plan to restructure the country's debt. Marathon CEO Bruce Richards said late yesterday that Greece is nearing a deal that would pay bondholders €0.32 on the euro, although the IIF banking organization said an agreement wasn't at hand. The major differences are over the interest rate Greece would pay on new bonds.
Four banks to bid for former AIG bonds. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), BofA (NYSE:BAC) and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) are reportedly set to bid in an auction tomorrow for $7B in mortgage bonds held by the NY Fed and formerly owned by AIG. A strong sale could prompt a rally in sub-prime debt prices, as the auction will remove a large amount of supply.
BNY agrees to partial deal over forex trades. Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK) has reached a partial settlement with government prosecutors over civil-fraud charges related to client prices on forex trades. Prosecutors had sought hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties, although there was no word of the sums involved in the deal. The sides said talks are ongoing. Shares were -1.7% premarket.
Google, Wikipedia lead SOPA protest. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Wikipedia and Reddit are leading a 24-hour protest today against SOPA and other anti-online piracy legislation, although the campaign has failed to gain the participation of some major players. Google has a link about the issue on its homepage, while Wikipedia has shut down most of its English-language services.
U.S. losing high-tech jobs to Asia. President Obama may be exhorting U.S. firms to "insource" jobs back home, but the country is rapidly losing out to Asia for high-tech positions, as Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), GE (NYSE:GE) and other multi-nationals spend billions on R&D departments in the region. 3M (NYSE:MMM) has cited the "moribund interest in science" in the U.S. as one reason.
TD, BB&T bid for BankUnited. Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) and BB&T (NYSE:BBT) reportedly submitted preliminary bids late yesterday to buy BankUnited (NYSE:BKU), which was put up for sale last week and is expected to fetch over $2B. The suitors want to expand in Florida despite its real-estate turmoil and other problems.
eBay may provide earnings surprise. eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is due to report its Q4 results after the bell, with analysts expecting EPS of $0.57 on revenue of $3.32B. SA author Jiang Zhang notes that eBay gave a conservative guidance in Q3, "which gives room for an earnings surprise due to strong holiday sales numbers and the continued ramp up in mobile e-commerce."
SEC attack watchdog to leave. SEC Inspector General David Kotz is to leave the agency at the end of the month to join a private investigative service. Kotz ruffled feathers inside the agency with zealous in-house investigations that led to at least 28 cases being referred over to the Justice Department.
World Bank slashes growth forecasts. The IMF report comes as the World Bank sharply cuts its global growth predictions due to the eurozone crisis threatening to further slow down emerging economies. The WB now expects global growth of +2.5% this year vs. a prior estimate of +3.6%, with the eurozone at -0.3% vs. +1.8%, and the U.S. at +2.2% vs. +2.9%. Ominously, "even achieving these much weaker outcomes is very uncertain."
IEA lowers outlook for oil demand. The IEA has cut its global oil demand growth forecast to 1.1M barrels per day in 2012, down from a previous estimate of 1.3M bpd. Economic weakness tipped demand into a declining year-on-year trend at the end of 2011, and the lower starting point led to the 2012 revision.
In Asia, Japan +1.0% to 8551. Hong Kong +0.3% to 19687. China -1.4% to 2266. India -0.1% to 16451.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.5%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.4%. Nasdaq +0.45%. Crude +0.6% to $101.30. Gold flat at $1655.10.
Wednesday's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
7:45 ICSC Retail Store Sales
8:30 Producer Price Index
8:55 Redbook Chain Store Sales
9:00 International Capital Flow
9:15 Industrial Production
9:30 Hearing: 'Impact of the Volcker Rule' (Tarullo)
10:00 NAHB Housing Market Index
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