Daniel Gross

Morning Reading: Kodak, BofA, Greece

What to watch, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance's Elizabeth Trotta:

Good morning,

Futures are pointing to a higher open for Wall Street ahead of a flurry of economic data (see below) and after Bank of America swung to a profit, sending its shares more than 5% higher in the premarket. Morgan Stanley shares were also 4% higher after earnings, although it reported a loss of $275 million on a settlement charge and revenue declined across all of its trading, banking and brokerage operations. [ See Bank of America Reverses Loss and Earns $2 and Morgan Stanley Posts Fourth Quarter Loss Due to Settlement] Outside of financials, UnitedHealth also topped expectations early Thursday.

Commodities were also higher early Thursday with gold near recent highs and oil above $101. Iran's ambassador to the UN cautioned that closing the Strait of Hormuz is an option if Iran's security is endangered. [See Closing Strait of Hormuz is an Option: Iran]

Greece remains in focus as finance leaders continue meetings with bondholders with the possibility of default hanging in the balance. The two sides reportedly remain at odds over the coupon, or interest payment, Greece must offer on its new bonds under the swap. The New York Times reports that hedge funds are planning on suing Greece in a human rights court to make good on its bond payments if the nation forces a loss. [See Greece, Creditors Make Scant Progress As Clock Ticks and Hedge Funds May Sue Greece if it Tries to Force a Loss]

In other news, Kodak, having failed to find a buyer for its collection of (1,100) digital patents, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [See Kodak Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection]

And Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper company News Group Newspapers agreed to pay damages to 36 high-profile victims of tabloid phone-hacking. Actor Jude Law and former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott are among those receiving damages. [See Murdoch Company to Pay Hacking Damages in 36 Cases]

Also worth noting:

Starting in tax year 2011, there's a new tax form and new reporting rules for investors who buy and sell stocks. [See Investors, Prepare for Tax Headache on Cost Basis]

And the web is abuzz again after many sites blacked out midweek to protest SOPA, legislation to curb internet piracy. What was the effect? See With Twitter, Blackouts and Demonstrations Web Flexes Its Muscles

Economic Data:

8:30 Initial Jobless Claims, Housing Starts, Building Permits

10 Philadelphia Fed Index, Mortgage Rates

11 Crude Oil Inventories

Friday: Existing Home Sales

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