Wall Street Breakfast: Must-Know News

by: Wall Street Breakfast
Wall Street Breakfast
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.

Top Stories
J.C. Penney slumps as earnings suffer from new strategy. J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) sank 12.15% post-market after a woeful FQ1 report in which the retailer missed expectations, and cut its $0.20 dividend and FY12 forecast, saying it won't meet EPS estimates of $1.59. In FQ1, J.C. Penney swung to a net loss of $163M from a profit of $64M as revenue slumped 20.1% to $3.15B, hurt by the strategy of abandoning regular discounts in favor of everyday low prices. Opinion: J.C. Penney's moment of truth.

Google plans revamp of Android strategy. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is planning a major overhaul of its Android strategy, the WSJ reports. Instead of partnering to build a handful of devices via its Nexus line, Google will now form hardware agreements with up to five manufacturers at once. Google's objectives include creating no-compromise Android gear to better compete with the iPhone (NASDAQ:AAPL) and limiting OS fragmentation. Discussion: Too little, too late?

Top Stock News
Facebook to sell more shares to meet demand. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will reportedly increase the amount of shares it's selling in its IPO by 85M to 422M, which, at the freshly raised price range of $34-$38 a pop, could bring in up to $16B. The speculation comes despite the WSJ reporting that GM (NYSE:GM) plans to stop advertising on Facebook because of the ineffectiveness of the ads. Opinion: Which ETFs will own Facebook and when.

BHP to scale back $80B spending amidst global volatility. BHP (NYSE:BHP) Chairman Jacques Nasser said the company no longer plans to invest $80B in new projects over five years, as outlined by CEO Marius Kloppers last year. Nasser also warned of "volatility and uncertainty," and the further easing of commodity prices due to the uncertainty in the global economy. Opinion: BHP could get a uranium boost.

Berkshire buys into GM. Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) has disclosed that it owns 10M shares in GM (GM), which sent the car maker's shares 4.8% higher in AH trading. Berkshire has also added Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) to its holdings. Meanwhile, Dan Loeb's Third Point boosted its stake in Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) by 14.5M shares to 70.5M ahead of his successful campaign to get rid of Scott Thompson and win board seats. Opinion: Large-cap stocks insiders are buying.

NYSE drops out of LME auction. NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) is out of the bidding to buy the London Metal Exchange after its reported £800M offer was deemed too low. Among the potential suitors still standing: CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) and IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE). Opinion: CME is a different kind of financial company.

MS cuts its KPN holding. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has reduced its stake in KPN to 4.93% from 10.01% as Carlos Slim targets the Dutch telecoms group as a long-term investment. Opinion: Morgan Stanley's depressing reality.

FCC wants more info on Verizon spectrum sale. The FCC said yesterday that it needs more details from Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) on its offer to sell some wireless spectrum if or when regulators approve its plan to purchase another set of airwaves for $3.9B. Opinion: Verizon's solid growth.

The dangers of high-frequency trading. High-frequency trading has made markets even more susceptible to sudden failure than they were two years ago during the "flash crash," analyst Eric Scott Hunsader tells CNBC. A new breed of traders has emerged that is trading so large and so fast that they're causing huge spikes in price and volume. Opinion: Frustrated chartists: High-frequency traders aren't the problem.

Top Economic & Other News
Greece appoints caretaker government ahead of elections. Greece's party leaders have agreed on the appointment of Chief Justice Pikrammenos to lead a caretaker government until new elections can take place, Dow Jones reports. Meanwhile, the ECB is increasingly refusing liquidity requests from Greek banks, according to Holland's Financieele Dagblad. The speculation will add to concerns about a run on Greek banks, which have been experiencing high rates of withdrawals. Opinion: Financial (dis)integration in Europe.

EU wants shareholders to have a say on pay. The EU is drafting plans to give shareholders in European companies binding votes on compensation, financial services regulator Michel Barnier tells the FT. Bank investors will also be able to set a cap on bonuses to curb "morally indefensible" salaries and limit the gap between the lowest and highest paid workers. Opinion: The banks again: When will we learn?

Today's Markets:
In Asia, Japan -1.1%. Hong Kong -3.2%. China -1.2%. India -1.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt -0.8%.
Futures at 7:00: Dow flat. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -1.7% to $92.35. Gold -1.4% to $1535.00.

Today's economic calendar:
7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications
8:30 Housing Starts
9:15 Industrial Production
10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories
12:30 PM Fed's Bullard: 'U.S. Economy and Monetary Policy'
2:00 PM FOMC minutes

Notable earnings before today's open: ANF, CHS, DE, SPLS, TGT

Notable earnings after today's close: CTRP, LTD, NTES

See full real-time earnings coverage »

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