As the new week began, the biggest business story wasn't exactly centered on trading, but it could at least in theory have some impact on the global economy. That story is the arrest of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was detained in New York over the weekend on sexual-assault charges.
The Associated Press noted that the euro dropped to a six-week low against the dollar at one point, but the decline abated as investors digested the news. However, The Wall Street Journal said Strauss-Kahn's arrest could "weaken the IMF's central role in resolving Europe's deepening debt crisis," while Bloomberg said an aid package for Greece may be "clouded" by the charges.
Also on the radar is the U.S. debt situation, as the government is projected to reach the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling today. That means the White House and Congress are under further pressure to reach a deficit agreement. See the WSJ's As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off for more details on what's at stake.
ON THE BLOGS:
* European Leaders Hanging From Their Own Petard - Marc Chandler, via Seeking Alpha
* Flags Flying at Half-Mast - Peter Brandt, via StockTwits
* Centrifugal Forces - Market Anthropology
* Where Is the Sector Rotation? - All Star Charts, via StockTwits
* China's Consumption of Resources - Random Roger
* More Fast Times at 'Fast Money' High - Seabreeze Partners
* 3 Reasons the Dollar's Decline Will Continue - Pragmatic Capitalism
* @Fullcarry - The Fed's implied core inflation target is close to 2%. If you believe the Fed, USTs are getting pricey here.
* @CreateCapital - $$ Hasn't anybody figured it out yet: In this Managed Marketplace, fundamentals don't matter. It's all physics and engineering.
IN THE HEADLINES:
* No More Free Lunch for Commodities Investors - MarketWatch
* The Yes-Yes Stock Market - Barrons.com
* Investors Take Defensive Turn - WSJ
* The End of QE2: Does It Matter? Minyanville
* Currency Markets Come to a Fork - WSJ
* BP Seeks TNK Buyout to Save Rosneft Deal - Bloomberg
* Five Stocks That Could Push the Dow to 14,000 - 24/7 Wall St.
* Collapsing Spreads Signal Major Commodities Correction - Minyanville
STOCKS TO WATCH & KEY EARNINGS:
* Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) are withdrawing their bid for the NYSE Euronext (NYX), saying they determined they wouldn't get antitrust clearance from the U.S. The NYSE wants a merger with Germany's Deutsche Boerse.
* Lowe's (LOW) earnings and revenue fell short of analysts' expectations in the fiscal first quarter. Earnings of 34 cents a share and sales of $12.2 billion both missed estimates for the home-improvement retailer.
* J.C. Penney (JCP) will report earnings ahead of the opening bell, and the retailer is expected to earn 26 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
* DuPont (DD) has completed its takeover bid for Danisco after most shareholders approved the offer.
* Research In Motion (RIMM) has recalled around 1,000 of its new Playbook tablets because of an operating system problem, according to published reports.
UPGRADES & DOWNGRADES:
* Qualcomm (QCOM) was upgraded at BMO Capital to outperform from market perform, and its target price was raised $8 to $69.
* Sara Lee (SLE) was upgraded from neutral to overweight at JPMorgan and the target price was taken up by $2 to $23.
* Merck's (MRK) price target was lifted by $3 to $37 at Citigroup, but the stock was maintained at a hold rating.
* American Eagle (AEO) was upgraded at Susquehanna to positive from neutral.
Compiled by Elizabeth Trotta and Chris Nichols.
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