Ahead of Wall Street - February 10, 2012 - Ahead of Wall Street
Friday, February 10, 2012
If you thought the Thursday announcement of a Greek deal would be the last word on the issue, then you were wrong. It seems that we are back to square one again this morning, as a meeting of Euro-zone finance ministers in Brussels asked Greece to jump through an extra hoop before it could expect to get a fresh bailout.
The Thursday deal announcement was among Greek political leaders who had finally agreed to the very onerous fresh austerity measures demanded of them. The fact that the political leaders have to face the electorate in the next few months in fresh elections made it all the more difficult for them to agree to the measures. But now the Europeans are demanding some more cuts and also that the deal needed to be enacted through an act of parliament. The interim government of Prime Minister Loukas Papademos enjoys the support of a big majority in parliament. But with public unions on a 48-hour strike throughout Greece, this new development has the potential of producing last minute surprises that could unsettle the markets.
On the home front, we have a relatively quite economic and earnings calendar today. The December trade deficit number came essentially in-line with expectations, meaning that trade will not cause a major revision to the fourth quarter GDP estimate later this month that was originally reported at 2.8%. We also have the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment data for February on deck for release a little later. The expectation is for the measure to shrink a bit from the late-January level of 75.
On the earnings front, NYSE Euronext ( NYX ), the operator of New York Stock Exchange, met EPS expectations, but modestly missed on the top-line. The exchange operator, who was recently rebuffed by European regulators from merging with Deutche Boerse on anti-trust grounds, plans to focus on its trading technology business to grow going forward. Arch Coal ( ACI ) beat EPS expectations by a penny, but missed on the revenue side and guided towards lower production volumes. LinkedIn ( LNKD ) came in with better than expected results after the close on Thursday and guided higher.
Director of Research
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