What’s the Story?

by CC March 2, 2012 6:56 am • Commentary


U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street on Friday as investors took profits on Thursday’s gains fueled by mostly positive economic data.

Brent crude futures have backed off from Thursday’s 11-month high, but not by a significant amount, even though yesterday’s reports of a Saudi pipeline explosion are said to be false, easing fears of supply disruption.


LONDON (AP) — Markets were steady Friday as a two-day summit of EU leaders headed to a conclusion with the signing of a treaty that is designed to prevent a repeat of the debt crisis that’s rocked financial markets for the best part of two years.

However, a renewed sense of concern over Greece and confirmation that overnight deposits at the European Central Bank hit a record high of euro777 billion ($1.03 billion) on Thursday have done little to boost sentiment in the markets, on a day largely devoid of meaningful economic and corporate news.


Barclays (BARC) Plc, the U.K.’s third- largest lender by assets, took 8.2 billion euros ($10.9 billion) of three-year loans from the European Central Bank to provide “funding stability” for its units in Spain and Portugal.

Banco de Espana will access 6.2 billion euros from the auction on Feb. 29 and the remaining 2 billion euros via Banco de Portugal, London-based Barclays said in a statement today.


Stocks to Watch

Yelp Inc. late Thursday priced its initial public offering of 7.1 million shares at $15 a share last Thursday, coming in above its previously expected price range of $12 to $14 a share. Shares of the local business-reviews site are slated to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning under the ticker symbol “YELP.”

Zynga Inc. [ZNGA]  late Thursday said it would introduce a new platform to allow people to play Zynga games over the site without having to go through Facebook Inc. [FB]   or other social-network sites.

Eastman Kodak Co. (EKDKQ) said it agreed the proposed sale of its Kodak Gallery online photo services business to Internet-based personal publishing service Shutterfly for $23.8 million. Shutterfly shares surged 18% to $31.48 after hours.


Overnight Headlines (Links)


China Diversifies Away From Dollar

Factor in Fudge Factor for China’s Targets

Economy Picks Up Pace, but Risks Remain

In the Markets

Oil Soars on Saudi Rumor

Investors’ Sell Signal: Surging U.S. Stocks

Don’t Write Greek CDS Off Yet

Deal & Deal Makers

Twitter’s Slow Road to IPO

Yelp Prices IPO Above Range

Goldman to Buy Ariel Reinsurance of Bermuda