Good morning! It is jobs week in the US, and ahead of Monday's open here is what you need to know.
Greece's reform list still has not been submitted. Contrary to reports out Friday, a list of Greek reforms has not been completed. Greece's 240 billion euro lifeline has been granted by the country's creditors but not yet given to Greece, as the government must still prove it is working toward strengthening its balance sheet. Greece's three-year yield is up 38 basis points at 20.59%.
Greece's credit rating was cut by Fitch. The announcement came after Friday's close, with the credit rating agency cutting Greece two notches to "CCC," indicating a default is "a real possibility." Fitch analysts noted in a statement: "Lack of market access, uncertain prospects of timely disbursement from official institutions, and tight liquidity conditions in the domestic banking sector have put extreme pressure on Greek government funding."
China eased mortgage rules. The People's Bank of China reduced the required downpayment on a second home to 40% (from 60%) in an effort to revive the property sector. New-home sales have seen year-over-year declines in 13 of the past 14 months. China's yuan added 0.1% to 6.2078.
Japan's industrial production plunged. Monday's reading printed at -3.4% month-over-month, which was well short of the 1.8% MoM decline that was anticipated. The number is the latest headache for the Bank of Japan after last week's inflation reading was zero. Japan's yen is down 0.5% at 119.78 per dollar.
Euro area economic sentiment is at an 8-year high. The European Commission's Confidence Index rose to -3.7 (from -6.7), making for the best reading since the middle of 2007. Economic sentiment was also strong, printing at 103.9, the best since mid-2011. The euro is lower by 0.5% at 119.78.
Crude oil is getting smoked as the deadline for nuclear talks with Iran nears. Talks are nearing the 11th hour with the deadline less than 48 hours away. Six world powers are trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues the deal is worse than Israel feared. Crude oil is down 1.9% at $47.95 per barrel.
Best Buy Canada is restructuring. The electronics retailer announced the closing of 66 stores and the rebranding of 65 others. The names of the remaining stores will be changed to Best Buy from The Future Shop. Approximately 500 full-time employees and 1,000 part-time employees have been eliminated. Best Buy will spend about $200 million over the next two years during the restructuring.
Merger Monday has produced 2 mergers in the pharma space. UnitedHealth Group will buy Catamaran for $61.50 per share, or $12.8 billion. The deal represents a 27% premium to Friday's closing price. Also, Teva Pharmaceuticals announced it would buy Auspex Pharmaceuticals for $101.00 per share, or $3.2 billion. The buyout comes at a 42% premium to Friday's close.
Global stock markets are higher. China's Shanghai Composite (+2.9%) led Asian markets higher, climbing to its best level in seven years. In Europe, Germany's DAX (+1.5%) is pacing the advance.
US economic data flows. Personal income, personal spending and PCE are all set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET, while pending home sales are due out at 10 a.m. ET.
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