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- Asian markets were higher in overnight trading with the Nikkei up 2.86 percent on reports that the central bank and ministry of Finance are talking about cooperating more on policy. The Shanghai Composite was up 1.41 percent. Europe is mixed. And the U.S. is lower early in the trading session.
- Chinese Q4 GDP beat expectations rising 7.9 percent year-over-year (YoY). Bank of America's Ting Lu wrote that policymakers are unlikely to change stimulus. Industrial production in December was up 10.3 percent YoY. This added to signs that the economy is recovering. The 5 Chinese economic indicators that experts trust >
- China also released its 2012 fixed asset investment (FAI) reading which came in at 20.6 percent. This is being boosted by Beijing's plans to speed up urbanization. Meanwhile, retail sales were up 15.2 percent. Electricity consumption was up 5.5 percent on the year.
- General Electric fourth quarter profits were up 7.5 percent beating expectations. The company reported earnings of $0.38 per share, on revenue of $39.33 billion. This reflects CEO Jeff Immelt's focus on the energy equipment business. The 22 most controversial stocks in America >
- 53 percent of Americans think the failure to extend the debt limit, and a resulting default, will leave the country facing a major economic crisis, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Meanwhile, Republican leaders have said the may temporarily extend the debt limit to avoid default. Dylan Grice: Here are 22 books everyone must read >
- In more earnings news, Schlumberger beat expectations when it reported Q4 earnings of $1.08 per share, on revenue of $11.17 billion. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley beat expectations reporting Q4 profit of $0.45 per share ex-accounting charges.
- UK retail sales declined 0.1 percent month-over-month, but were up 0.3 percent on the year. This missed expectations of a 0.2 percent monthly rise, and year-over-year rise of one percent.
- 22 foreign hostages in Sahara were unaccounted for on Friday, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, their captors have threatened to attack energy installations after Algerian forces entered a desert gas station to free hundreds of captives.
- In a 90-minute interview with Oprah last night, Lance Armstrong's confessed that he started cheating in the mid-1990s, and took EPO - a performance enhancing drug, blood transfusions, and testosterone. He also denied former teammate Tyler Hamilton's story that he tested positive at the 2001 Tour de Suisse and covered it up.
- Bonus - Emma Stone told W magazine that the undergarments she had to wear in The Gangster Squad were "demanding" but made her "more poised".
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